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J>  "5 

1005    0035    01       5F 

LOWE-MARTIN    No.  1137 








TO     MT    SONS, 

in  the  hope  that  they  may  learn  to  value  the  character  of  their 
ancestor  with  his  "  simplicity  and  integrity"  his  "  robust  clear 
and  manful  intellect "  and  "  the  quiet  valour  that  defies  all 
fortune  "  as  Carlyle  portrayed  him  ;  and  that  they  may  one  day 
read  this  record  of  his  life's  work  in  the  spirit  of  the  following 
lines  from  Gibbon's  Autobiography,  which  have  often  been  in  my 
mind  in  compiling  it. 

"  For  my  own  part,  could  I  draw  my  pedigree  from  a  general, 
a  statesman,  or  a  celebrated  author^  I  should  study  their  lives 
with  the  diligence  of  filial  love.  In  the  investigation  of  past 
events  our  curiosity  is  stimulated  by  the  immediate  or  indirect 
reference  to  ourselves." 


NEITHER  the  natural  interest  nor  the  possession  of 
literary  materials  which  I  have  inherited  as  a  great- 
grandson  of  Mallet  du  Pan  would  have  justified  me  in 
undertaking  an  account  of  his  career  for  English  readers 
if  that  career  had  been  destitute  of  historical  impor- 
tance, or  if  any  such  account  had  been  in  existence 
which  was  complete  and  at  the  same  time  accessible. 
On  both  these  grounds,  however,  some  justification 
for  the  present  attempt  may,  I  think,  be  pleaded.  It 
will  be  sufficient,  in  this  place,  to  refer  to  the  emphatic 
testimony  of  authorities  like  Carlyle,  Sainte-Beuve  and 
Taine  to  the  position  of  this  once  celebrated  political 
writer  as  a  pioneer  of  modern  journalism,  as  a  champion 
of  constitutional  Monarchy  in  the  Revolution,  as  a 
confidential  adviser  of  Louis  XVI.  and  of  the  Allied 
Courts  ;  and  a  few  words  only  will  be  needed  to 
explain,  with  the  assistance  of  the  appended  list  of 
sources  of  information,  how  matters  stand  with  regard 
to  existing  publications. 

In  spite  of  all  that  has  been  written  about  Mallet  du 
Pan  during  the  last  half  century,  it  would  not  be  easy 
even  for  a  French  reader  to  lay  his  hand  on  any  book, 
with  the  exception  of  M.  Valette's  short  but  admirable 
monograph,  which  gives  a  comprehensive  view  of  his 

viii  PREFACE 

work  and  opinions,  and  of  the  verdict  of  modern 
historical  criticism  upon  his  writings.  Those  writings 
lie  buried  in  dozens  of  newspaper  volumes  and 
pamphlets  and,  leaving  aside  the  political  correspond- 
ence for  the  Court  of  Vienna,  they  are  practically 
unobtainable  at  the  present  day.  The  biography  by 
M.  Sayous,  in  which  portions  of  his  published  work 
together  with  his  private  correspondence  appeared, 
was  written  before  the  recovery  of  the  Vienna  cor- 
respondence ;  it  is,  therefore,  to  that  extent  incom- 
plete, and  it  has  long  been  out  of  print.  Finally,  the 
rehabilitation  of  the  publicist's  reputation  having  been 
a  gradual  process,  ti\z.  pieces  justificatives  are  scattered 
over  a  considerable  number  of  volumes  and  articles 
which  it  is  necessary  to  consult.  Such  very  briefly 
is  the  position  in  France  ;  in  England  nothing  what- 
ever has  been  published  about  Mallet  du  Pan  except 
two  articles  in  the  Edinburgh  Review,  notwithstanding 
that  he  wrote  continually  on  English  affairs  from  the 
War  of  American  Independence  onwards,  and  that  his 
political  point  of  view  was  largely  the  result  of  his 
English  studies  and  sympathies. 

The  name  of  his  son,  John  Lewis  Mallet  (1775- 
1861),  so  often  recurs  in  the  following  pages  that  a 
word  or  two  about  his  subsequent  career  may  possibly 
be  of  interest.  His  life,  devoid  as  it  is  of  external 
incident,  presents  a  striking  contrast  to  that  of  the 
father  whose  stormy  destiny  he  had  shared  in  his 
youth.  Remaining  in  this  country  after  the  early 
death  of  Mallet  du  Pan,  he  held  during  the  greater 
part  of  the  half  century  which  followed  the  same 


office  in  the  English  Civil  Service.  In  1800  he  was 
appointed  by  Mr.  Pitt  to  a  subordinate  post  under 
the  Board  of  Audit,  and  shortly  afterwards  pro- 
moted to  the  Secretaryship  from  which  he  retired  in 
1849.  He  was  twice  married,  first  to  a  daughter  of 
Mr.  Charles  Baring,  youngest  brother  of  the  first  Sir 
Francis  Baring,  and  after  her  death,  without  children, 
to  Miss  Frances  Merivale.  Although  a  foreigner  by 
birth,  and  a  man  of  fastidious  and  retiring  disposition, 
he  won  for  himself  a  high  place  in  the  regard  of  his 
friends,  among  whom  were  several  men  distinguished 
in  politics  and  literature.  In  his  earlier  years  indeed 
he  lived  a  good  deal  in  the  society  of  public  men, 
principally,  as  his  diaries  with  their  mention  of  names 
like  those  of  Romilly,  Mackintosh,  Lord  Grenville, 
Lord  Holland,  Lord  Lansdowne,  Tierney,  Brougham, 
the  Barings  and  Francis  Horner  seem  to  show, 
among  the  Whigs.  He  was,  with  Ricardo  and  James 
Mill,  one  of  the  founders  of  the  Political  Economy 
Club ;  but  with  the  exception  of  his  official  work  he 
took  no  part  in  public  affairs,  and  rather  shunned  than 
sought  the  recognition  which  his  sound  judgment  and 
literary  ability  might  have  won  for  him.  His  leisure 
was  occupied  by  social  intercourse,  by  reading  and 
correspondence,  and  by  the  habit  of  committing  to 
commonplace  books  and  diaries  his  criticisms  of  men 
and  books  and  his  observations  on  passing  events,  both 
public  and  domestic.  His  second  son,  the  late  Sir 
Louis  Mallet,  from  whom  the  above  account  is  derived, 
has  left  a  description  of  his  character  :— 

"  My  father  possessed,  in  common  with  his  sister, 


Madame  Colladon,  the  quality  which  is  only  expressed 
by  the  word  'distinction'.  In  his  manner  he  retained 
much  of  the  polished  courtesy  and  graceful  forms  of  the 
older  French  school,  while  traces  of  his  English  train- 
ing were  evident  in  the  simplicity  and  repose  habitual 
to  well-bred  Englishmen.  His  extensive  reading  and 
varied  tastes,  the  interesting  experiences  of  his  life 
and  the  good  sense  and  moderation  of  his  opinions, 
together  with  his  warm  and  ready  sympathies,  gave  to 
his  conversation  a  peculiar  charm,  enhanced  by  his 
refined  and  critical  aversion  to  careless  and  slovenly 
forms  of  expression.  Although  so  unlike  him  in  many 
respects,  he  inherited  from  Mallet  du  Pan  his  perfect 
integrity  and  noble  independence  of  character.  No 
man  was  ever  more  free  from  all  taint  of  self-seeking 
or  worldliness,  or  presented  a  happier  combination 
of  liberality  and  sound  economy,  or  cultivated  with 
greater  success  reasonable  and  moderate  views  of 
human  life." 

Mr.  J.  L.  Mallet  was  the  author  of  an  autobio- 
graphical sketch,  discovered  a  few  years  since  among 
the  family  papers  and  privately  printed  by  Sir  Louis 
Mallet,  from  which  I  have  quoted  freely  under  the 
title  of  "  Reminiscences,"  especially  for  the  later  years 
from  1793,  when  the  writer  rejoined  his  family  after 
absences  in  England  and  Geneva  for  the  purpose  of 
education  and  business.  The  autobiography  is  written 
in  an  attractive  style  in  English,  and  gives  a  nar- 
rative of  the  life  and  wanderings  of  Mallet  du  Pan 
during  the  Revolution,  and  his  final  settlement  in 
England.  With  its  comments  on  political  events  and 
its  description  of  people  and  places  it  supplies  to 
some  extent  both  the  personal  detail  and  the  general 


atmosphere  which  are  so  invaluable  in  biography,  and 
which  without  it  would  be  so  greatly  wanting  in  the 
present  case. 

For  Mallet  du  Pan  himself,  pre-occupied  as  he  was 
with  public  affairs,  had  little  leisure,  and  with  all  his 
power  as  a  writer  but  little  taste,  for  dwelling  on  the 
purely  personal  or  picturesque  details  of  the  dramatic 
events  of  which  he  was  a  witness.  His  story  has, 
indeed,  as  a  study  of  character  a  deep  human  interest, 
the  interest  attaching  to  a  consistent  and  courageous 
struggle  against  overwhelming  odds.  But  it  is  as  a 
study  of  opinions,  as  a  record  and  analysis  of  political 
thought  and  action,  that  an  account  of  Mallet  du  Pan 
has  its  main  value.  For  this  reason,  and  because  the 
point  of  view  from  which  the  well-worn  subject  of  the 
French  Revolution  is  treated  in  his  writings  is  still 
perhaps  comparatively  unfamiliar,  it  has  been  absolutely 
necessary  to  deal  more  largely  than  I  should  otherwise 
have  desired  to  do  with  the  historical  circumstances 
which  form  the  setting  to  the  character  and  ideas  I 
have  had  to  describe. 

I  should  like,  in  conclusion,  to  express  my  grate- 
ful acknowledgment  to  my  uncle,  the  Rev.  Henry 
F.  Mallet,  the  only  surviving  grandson  of  Mallet  du 
Pan,  for  his  advice  and  assistance  while  this  volume 
was  in  the  press,  and  for  having  some  years  ago  given 
into  my  charge  the  family  papers  and  the  fine  portrait 
which  is  reproduced  as  a  frontispiece. 

B.  M. 


A.  Family  Papers.     Consisting  of  letters  from  Mallet  du  Pan,  his  friends 

and  numerous  correspondents  ;  private  note-books  kept  by  Mallet 
du  Pan,  drafts  of  various  official  memoranda,  and  letters  from 
the  Duke  of  Brunswick  and  Comte  d'Artois.  These  have  been 
through  the  hands  of  MM.  Sayous  and  Andre  Michel. 
John  Lewis  Mallet.  An  autobiographical  retrospect  of  the  first 
twenty-five  years  of  his  life.  Printed  for  private  circulation  with 
a  Preface  by  Sir  Louis  Mallet.  1890.  See  Preface. 

B.  Newspapers  edited  by  Mallet  du  Pan  : — 

Annales  politiques  civiles  et  litteraires  du  xviiie  siecle.  From  1778- 
1780,  edited  by  Mallet  du  Pan  in  conjunction  with  Linguet, 
and  by  Mallet  du  Pan  alone  from  1781-1783  (36  numbers  in  5 
vols.).  Most  of  this  is  material,  hitherto  unused,  and  is  im- 
portant as  bringing  out  his  position  as  a  pioneer  of  modern 
journalism.  See  especially  Chapter  II. 

Memoires  historiques  politiques  et  litte'raires  sur  I'etat  present  de  V  Europe. 
10  numbers,  from  March  1783.  i  vol. 

Mercure  de  France  (Paris),  1783-1792.  53  volumes.  See  Chapters 
III.  and  IV. 

Mercure  Britanniqne  (London),  August  1798  to  March  1800.  36 
numbers.  4  vols.  See  Chapter  IX. 

C.  Pamphlets  (published  during  the  Revolutionary  period  by  Mallet  du 

Pan)  :— 
Du  Principe  des  Factions  en  general  et  de  ceux  qui  divisent  la  France. 

(This   appeared   first   in   different    numbers    of  the   Mercure.) 

Paris,   1791. 
Considerations   sur    la  nature  de   la   Revolution  en  France  et  sur   les 

causes  qui  en  prolongent  la  duree.     Brussels,    1793. 
Correspondance  politique   pour  servir  a    I'histoire    du    republicanisme 

Franfais.      Switzerland,   1796. 


Lettre  a  un  Ministre  d'Etat  sur  les  rapports  entre  le  systlme  politique  de 

la  Rlpublique  Franpaise  et  celui  de  sa  Revolution.     London,  1797. 
Quotidienne.     Three  letters  in  this  paper  to  a  member  of  the  Corps 

Legislatif  (Dumolard)  on  Venice,  Genoa  and  Portugal.     May 

and  June  1797.     See  Sayous,  II.,  302-7. 
Essai    historique    sur    la  destruction    de    la   Ligue    et    de    la   liberte 

Helvetique,  1798.      (First  published  in  Nos.  I.,  II.  and  III.  of 

the  Mercure  Britannique.) 

D.  Biographies,  etc.,  of  Mallet  du  Pan  :  — 

Memoires  et  Correspondance  de  Mallet  du  Pan.  By  A.  Sayous.  Paris, 
1851.  This  is  the  main  authority  for  his  life  ;  it  is  based  on 
his  private  papers  and  printed  writings,  and  written  with  the 
assistance  of  his  son  J.  L.  Mallet. 

Correspondance  inidite  de  Mallet  du  Pan  avec  la  Cour  de  Vienne, 
1794-1798.  By  Andre  Michel,  with  a  preface  by  H.  Taine. 
Paris,  1884.  See  Chapters  VI.  and  VII. 

Lettres  de  Mallet  du  Pan  &  Saladin  Egerton,  1794-1800.  Published 
by  Victor  van  Berchem.  38  pages.  Geneva,  1896. 

Deux  Lettres  inedites.  Published  by  the  Societe  d'Histoire  et 
d'Arch6ologie  de  Geneve,  1886. 

La  Revolution  Franqaise  vue  de  Vetranger.  By  Fran9ois  Descostes. 
Tours,  1897.  This  contains,  with  other  matter,  a  portion  of 
the  political  correspondence  for  the  Court  of  Lisbon.  It 
covers  much  the  same  ground  as  M.  Michel's  publication,  but 
for  a  shorter  period  (1794-1796  only),  and  it  throws  useful  light 
on  diplomatic  intrigue  at  Berne  at  that  time.  It  contains  a 
very  favourable  appreciation  of  Mallet  du  Pan  by  M.  Descostes. 
See  Chapter  VI. 

Mallet  du  Pan  et  la  Revolution  Franqaise.  By  M.  Gaspard  Valette. 
Geneva,  1893.  100  pages. 

E.  Some  Articles  and  Essays  on  the  subject : — 

"Causeries  du  Lundi."  Two  articles  by  Sainte-Beuve  (1852).  Vol. 

"  La  Question  de  Monarchic  ou  de  Republique  du  9  Thermidor  au 
18  Brumaire."  Two  papers  in  Le  Correspondant,  1873,  by  Paul 
Thureau-Dangin,  which  make  the  attitude  of  Mallet  du  Pan  in 
the  Royalist  party  their  chief  text.  They  were  republished  in 
M.  Thureau-Dangin's  volume,  Royalistes  et  Rtpublicains.  Paris, 

Articles  by  M.  Auguste  Dide  in  La  Revolution  Franpaise,  Revue 
Historique,  Vol.  V.,  1883,  and  Vol.  VI.,  1884 — a  strange  ex- 
hibition of  revolutionary  prejudice.  By  M.  Gabriel  Monod  in 
Revue  Historique,  Vol.  XXV.,  May,  August,  1884.  By  M.  de 
Lescure  in  Le  Correspondant,  Vol.  138,  1884. 


Article  in  Edinburgh  Review.     April  1852. 

Article  in  Edinburgh  Review.  January  1885.  (As  the  writer  of  this 
article  I  have  been  allowed  by  Messrs.  Longmans,  Green,  &  Co. 
to  incorporate  a  portion  of  it  in  one  of  my  chapters.  A  letter 
from  Thomas  Carlyle  to  Mr.  J.  L.  Mallet  dated  3ist  October 
1851  (quoted  in  Chapter  X.)  was  first  published  in  this  article.) 

F.  The  general  Histories  and  Biographies  are  too  numerous  and  too  well 
known  to  need  mention.     The  following,  however,  have  been  of 
special  use  to  me  : — 
Sybel's  French  Revolution. 
Sorel,  L'Europe  et  la  Revolution  Franqaise. 
Taine,  France  Contemporaine. 

Godet,  Histoire  litteraire  de  la  Suisse  Franqaise.     1890. 
Rossel,  Histoire  litteraire  de  la  Suisse  Romande.     1889-1892. 
Percy  et  Maugras,  La  vie  intime  de  Voltaire  aux  Delices  et  a  Ferney. 

Paris,  1885. 

Hatin,  Histoire  de  la  Presse  en  France. 
Life  and  Correspondence  of  Gouverneur  Morris  (and  an  article  of  the 

present  writer  on  him  in  Macmillan's  Magazine,  November  1885). 
Mtmoires  de  Malouet.     Paris,  1874.     (In  which  important  letters  from 

J.  L.  Mallet  to  Mallet  du  Pan  from  London  and  Paris  are  printed.) 
Madame  de  Stael.       By   Lady   Blennerhassett.      French   Edition. 

Paris,  1890.     A  complete  and  most  valuable  treatise  on  the 

whole  course  of  the  Revolution. 


EARLY  LIFE,  1749-1780. 


Settlement  of  the  Mallet  Family  in  Geneva — Ancestry  and  Parent- 
age of  Jacques  Mallet  du  Pan — Education  and  Early  In- 
fluences— Geneva  in  the  Eighteenth  Century  and  Influence 
of  Voltaire — Political  Disturbances  at  Geneva,  in  which  Mallet 
takes  part  on  Popular  Side — Mallet  at  Ferney,  at  Cassel — His 
Marriage — Doutes  sur  Feloquence — His  Political  Attitude — Lin- 
guet  and  the  Annales  Politiques — Mallet's  Start  and  Character 
as  a  Journalist  or  Contemporary  Historian — His  Judgments 
on  Voltaire  and  the  Philosophes — Rousseau  I 

WAR  OF  INDEPENDENCE,  1780-1782. 

General  Observations  in  the  Annales  on  European  Politics  in 
Eighteenth  Century — France  and  England  in  1781 — Influence 
of  the  Party  System  on  the  Conduct  of  the  American  War — 
Unpatriotic  Conduct  of  Whig  Factions — Results  of  the  War  .  2& 


WORK  IN  PARIS,  1783-1789. 

Fresh  Troubles  in  Geneva,  1780-1782 — Memoires  Historiques — 
Panckoucke  and  French  Journalism — Mallet  du  Pan  offered 
Editorship  of  Political  Portion  of  Mercure  de  France — Settles 
in  Paris  1783 — Life  and  Work  in  Paris — Development  of 
Mallet's  Opinions — Description  of  the  Mercure — Comments 
on  Events  in  Foreign  Countries — Commercial  Treaty  with 
England — Trial  of  Warren  Hastings — The  Censorship  and 
French  Politics — Holland — Vergennes — Montmorin — Mallet's 


xviii  CONTENTS 


Independence — His  Notes  on  Condition  of  Paris  before  the 
Revolution — Journalists — Calonne — Vergennes — Anecdotes — 
Political  Situation  in  1788-1789— Summary  of  Mallet's  Political 
Education  by  Taine 52 


MERCURB  DE  FRANCE,  1789-1792. 

Assembly  of  States-General — Mallet  du  Pan  Reorganises  the 
Mtrcure — His  Analysis  of  the  Debates — He  Champions  the 
Party  of  Constitutional  Reform — Their  Failure — Mirabeau — 
Attacks  on  Mallet  begin  after  the  Days  of  October — Parties 
in  the  Assembly — Maury — Cazales — Montlosier — Malouet — 
The  Mercure  opposes  Violence  against  Persons  and  Property 
— He  Visits  Geneva — Foreign  Policy — Judgment  on  Necker 
and  Mirabeau — Patriotic  Deputation  to  Mallet — His  Defence 
of  the  Clergy  and  Continued  Attempts  to  Enlighten  the 
Public  as  to  prevailing  Disorder  and  Anarchy — The  Flight 
to  Varennes  and  Enforced  Suspension  of  Mercure  after  Domi- 
ciliary Visit  to  Mallet's  House — Description  of  Life  in  Paris 
(Note) — Resumption  of  Editorship — Articles — The  Approach 
of  War — Policy  of  Brissot  and  the  Girondins — The  Emigres — 
Attitude  of  Robespierre  and  of  Louis  XVI.  towards  War — The 
King  Advised  by  Montmorin,  Malouet  and  Mallet  du  Pan — 
Mallet's  Opinion  of  the  King — Mallet's  Determined  Opposition 
to  the  War — His  Prophetic  Anticipations — War  Declared — 
Mallet's  Position  becomes  Impossible — Abandons  Mercure 
and  is  Entrusted  with  a  Mission  from  Louis  XVI.  in  May 
1792 85 


Mission  to  Frankfort — The  Brunswick  Manifesto — Mallet  goes 
to  Geneva,  then  to  Lausanne — Visit  to  Brussels — His  Rela- 
tions with  Ministers,  Elgin  and  Mercy-Argenteau — The  Arch- 
duke Charles — Publishes  the  Considerations — Its  Effect— 
Coburg  Campaign — Criticisms  on  Conduct  of  the  War — Settles 
at  Berne — Reports  to  Lord  Elgin  and  British  Government 
describing  the  Conventional  Regime — Account  of  Robespierre 
and  the  Committee — Anecdotes  (Note) — Jealousies  of  the  Allied 
Powers — European  Situation  at  the  Close  of  1794  .  .  .  146 





Begins  Regular  Political  Correspondence  for  Courts  of  Vienna, 
Berlin  and  Lisbon  1795 — Reaction  after  Thermidor — Jeunesse 
Doree — Lethargy  of  the  French — Exhaustion  of  Allies — Hopes 
of  Peace  and  of  the  Termination  of  the  Revolution — Peace 
of  Bale— Sufferings  and  Death  of  the  Dauphin— The  New 
King  approaches  Mallet  du  Pan  through  Sainte-Aldegonde 
— The  Declaration  of  Verona — Louis  XVIII.  and  Charles 
X.— Quiberon  Expedition— The  Struggle  in  France  —  i&h 
Vendemiaire  and  Establishment  of  the  Directory — Mallet's 
Disappointment — Description  of  Berne  and  of  his  Life 
there  —  Relations  with  British  Ministers  —  The  Lameth 
Intrigue  and  Wickham — Mallet's  Friends  and  Correspondents 
— Lally-Tollendal — Mounier  —  Malouet  —  Montlosier — Sainte- 
Aldegonde — De  Castries — Gallatin — de  Pradt,  etc.  .  .  .  185 



The  Directory  Described  in  Vienna  Correspondence — The 
Directors  and  the  Constitution  of  1795 — The  People — The 
Government — Finance — Foreign  Policy — Conduct  of  the  War 
— Criticism  of  Emigres  and  Allies — Policy  Recommended  by 
Mallet  du  Pan — The  Italian  Campaign  of  1796 — Fresh 
Pamphlet,  ' Correspondance  Politique' — Discouragement  of  the 
Writer.  , 


FRUCTIDOR,  1797. 

Mallet's  Son  in  London — Lettre  ft,  un  Ministre  d'Etat — Hopes  of 
his  Friends  of  a  Settlement  of  Affairs  and  their  Admiration 
for  Bonaparte — Mallet  does  not  share  these  Hopes — Pichegru 
— The  Elections  in  Spring  of  1797  bring  about  a  Deadlock 
which  ends  with  the  Coup  d'Etat  of  i8th  Brumaire — Mallet's 
Comments — Alleged  Failure  to  recognise  Bonaparte — His 
Criticism  of  Bonaparte  in  Letters  to  Quotidienne  which  lead 
to  his  Expulsion  from  Berne — He  searches  for  a  Home 
elsewhere  in  Switzerland  and  finally  settles  for  the  Winter  at 
Friburg — The  Abbe  de  Lisle  and  Portalis — Prisons  under  the 
Terror — Conquest  of  Switzerland  and  Annexation  of  Geneva — 
Mallet  excluded  by  Name  from  French  Citizenship — He 
Determines  to  seek  Refuge  in  England  and  resume  Journalism  254 





Part  of  England  in  the  War,  and  State  of  Public  Opinion  at 
the  Time  of  Mallet's  Arrival  in  May  1798— Mallet's  Plan  to 
start  a  French  Newspaper  in  London — Encouraged  by  Lord 
Liverpool  and  Windham  but  Neglected  by  Government — 
The  Mercure  Bntannique  Started — Its  Character  and  Temper 
— Articles  on  the  Destruction  of  the  Swiss  Confederation — 
Success  of  the  Work — Life  and  Society  in  London — Rela- 
tions with  the  Emigres — Letter  from  Monsieur — Attacked 
by  the  Ultra-Royalists — He  Rebukes  them — Reception  by 
Monsieur — The  Agony  of  the  Directory — Character  of  Sieyes — 
Bonaparte's  Return — Mallet's  Recognition  of  the  Significance 
of  Bonaparte's  Coup  d'Etat,  and  of  the  Wisdom  of  his  Domestic 
Policy — His  Health  gives  way — His  Letter  to  Wickham — 
His  Death  and  Funeral — Government  Recognition  for  his 
Family — Character  drawn  by  his  Daughter  (Note)  .  .  284 


Vicissitudes  of  Mallet  du  Pan's  Reputation  and  their  Causes — His 
Character  and  the  Qualities  which  fitted  him  for  the  Work 
of  a  Contemporary  Historian — His  Independence  —  His 
Political  Capacity  and  Clearness  of  Vision — Testimony  of 
Carlyle,  Taine,  Gentz,  Sainte-Beuve — His  Style — The  Course 
of  his  Opinions  during  the  Revolution — His  Analysis  of 
the  Jacobin  Dogma — His  Liberalism — Accusation  that  He 
Counselled  and  Fomented  the  War — His  Foresight,  and  his 
Championship  of  Constitutional  Monarchy  Justified  .  .  333 


Article  from  the   Mercure  Britannique  on   the   Influence   of  the 

Philosophes  on  the  Revolution 357 

INDEX 363 




THE  story  of  the  branch  of  the  Mallet  family  connected 
with  Mallet  du  Pan  derives  some  interest  and  diversity 
from  the  religious  and  political  persecutions  which  drove 
them  successively  from  France  to  Geneva  and  from 
Geneva  and  the  Continent  to  England.  In  Geneva, 
indeed,  they  took  deep  root,  but  the  words  in  which 
John  Lewis  Mallet  commented  on  their  expulsion  in 
1797  from  the  country  which  had  been  their  home  for 
close  upon  two  hundred  and  fifty  years  are  descriptive  of 
much  in  the  family  history.  "To  us,"  he  wrote  in  natural 
despondency,  "were  not  given  the  peaceable  habitation 
and  the  sure  dwelling  and  the  quiet  resting-place." 
Their  wanderings,  according  to  a  circumstantial  but 
legendary  tradition  with  which  they  adorned  their 
pedigree,  began  with  the  second  Crusade  and  a 
temporary  settlement  in  Antioch,  but  their  original 
home  was  undoubtedly  in  Normandy,  the  home  of  many 
families  of  the  name,  including  that  of  the  comrade  in 
arms  of  William  the  Conqueror  who  settled  in  England. 
The  earliest  authentic  date  of  the  family  with  which 
we  are  concerned  is  1530,  when  a  certain  Jean  Mallet 


married  Marguerite  de  Jeaux ;  and  its  first  migration 
occurred  in  1558  (the  year  of  Queen  Elizabeth's 
accession),  when  their  son  Jacques,  a  Huguenot  cloth 
merchant  of  Rouen,  left  France,  then  on  the  verge  of 
the  civil  war  between  the  two  religions  which  culmin- 
ated in  the  massacre  of  St.  Bartholomew,  and  settled 
at  Geneva,  there  to  enjoy  the  free  exercise  of  the 
Protestant  faith  under  the  stern  ecclesiastical  and 
moral  rule  of  Calvin.  In  1566,  two  years  after  the 
death  of  the  great  reformer,  Jacques  Mallet  was  re- 
ceived in  the  first  rank  and  company  of  the  freemen 
of  the  city,  he  and  his  children,  '  et  les  enfans  de  ses 
enfans,  nJs,  et  a  naitre,  naturels  et  Ugitimes,  jusqua 
finfinij  to  live  there  in  the  reformed  religion.  His 
"  Lettre  de  Bourgeoisie,"  signed  by  G.  Gallatin,  Sec- 
retary of  State,  and  dated  24th  April  1 566,  adds  the 
curious  provision  that,  in  consideration  of  the  privi- 
leges and  franchises  conferred  upon  him,  he  should  pay 
six  6cus  (For,  and  give  to  the  Republic  a  '  sceillot  de 
cuir  bouilli  (leather  bucket),  pour  la  defense  centre 
le  feu.1  He  married  Laura,  daughter  of  Leonard 
Sartoris  of  Quiers  in  Piedmont  who  had  died  in  the 
prisons  of  the  Inquisition  and  who  was  the  ancestor  of 
a  distinguished  Genevese  family.  By  her  he  had  ten 
children,  and  in  the  course  of  the  two  succeeding 
centuries  1 70  persons  of  the  name  were  born  in  Geneva, 
where  their  prosperity  is  attested  by  the  erection  in 
the  middle  of  the  seventeenth  century  of  one  of  the 
handsomest  houses  in  the  city,  the  Maison  Mallet  in 
the  Cour  de  St.  Pierre.  Although,  in  the  words  of 
the  Genevese  chronicle,  '  riche  et  tres  bien  allife] 
the  family  produced  only  two  conseillers  (PEtat,  but 
they  were  represented  continuously  in  the  Council  of 


the  Two  Hundred 1  and  were  distinguished  by  several 
men  of  literary  eminence.  Various  members  of  the 
family  returned  at  different  times  to  France 2  where 
their  descendants  now  form  its  most  numerous  and 
prosperous  branch,  but  the  English  branch  alone  is 
descended  from  Mallet  du  Pan,  the  subject  of  the  pre- 
sent memoir,  who  was  himself  seventh  in  direct  descent 

1  The  Petit  Conseil,  the  executive  power,  was  composed  of 
twenty-five  magistrates  styled  nobles  et  tres  honores  seigneurs.  From 
it  were  chosen  the  four  syndics  of  the  Republic,  including  the  First 
Syndic,  president  of  the  council.  The  Conseil  des  Deux  Cents  was 
the  legislature,  and  its  members  were  called  magnifiques  seigneurs. 
The  title  magnificent  applied  to  both  councils,  but  was  more  com- 
monly used  of  the  Petit  Conseil.  Both  councils  were  recruited  by 
co-optation  from  among  citoyens  and  bourgeois.  The  chief  function  of 
the  Conseil  General,  the  electoral  body  composed  of  all  citoyens  and 
bourgeois  over  twenty-one  who  paid  taxes,  was  to  choose  the  syndics 
from  a  list  of  eight  names  presented  to  them  by  the  two  higher 

2  Jacques  Mallet  and  Laura  Sartoris  had  a  son  Jacques  (2)  who 
married  in  1600  Louise  Varro,  and  had  a  son  Jacques  (3)  who 
married  in  1634  Jeanne  Thabuis.  Their  son  Etienne,  married  to 
Helene  Rilliet,  was  father  of  Jacques  (4)  (1680-1767),  who  married 
Isabeau  Rigaud,  and  was  father  of  Etienne  above  described,  the 
father  of  Mallet  du  Pan. 

Three  branches  of  this  family  are  re-established  in  France, 
descending  respectively  from  Gabriel  (1572-1651),  elder  brother  to 
Jacques  (2),  and  from  two  younger  brothers  of  Jacques  (3),  Louis 
and  Joseph.  From  Gabriel  comes  the  great  family  of  Protestant 
bankers  in  Paris,  which  had  twenty-four  living  males  a  few  years 
ago,  and  the  head  of  which  is  Alphonse  Baron  Mallet  de  Chalmassy, 
Regent  of  the  Bank  of  France.  Among  Joseph's  descendants  were 
General  Francois  de  Mallet  (1765-1839),  created  Baron  by  Louis 
XVIII.  in  1816,  who  left  issue  by  his  marriage  with  Anne  daughter 
of  the  fifth  Viscount  Molesworth,  and  General  Paul  Henri  Mallet 
Prevost,  who  settling  in  the  United  States  in  1794  became  the 
creator  of  Frenchtown  and  founder  of  an  American  branch. 


from  the  Huguenot  refugee.     His  father  and  mother 
are  thus  described  by  their  grandson  :— 

"  My  grandfather,  Etienne  Mallet,  was  brought  up 
to  the  Church,  and  I  have  always  heard  him  men- 
tioned as  a  man  of  good  understanding,  mild,  agreeable 
manner,  and  some  talents  as  a  preacher.  He  was 
exemplary  in  his  pastoral  and  social  duties,  and  for 
some  years  of  his  life,  and  I  believe  at  the  time  of  his 
death,  was  minister  at  Celigny,  where  he  was  remem- 
bered, even  in  my  time,  with  feelings  of  affectionate 
respect.  The  aristocracy  of  Geneva  was  not  then 
exempt  from  the  overbearing  disposition  natural  to  the 
aristocracy  of  every  country  ;  and  some  of  them,  who 
had  country  seats  at  Celigny,  were  not  popular  with 
the  peasantry.  My  grandfather,  on  the  contrary,  was 
uniformly  affable  and  kind  to  all ;  and  was  sometimes 
taken  to  task  by  his  neighbours  for  his  condescension 
and  popular  manners. 

"He  married  Mdlle  du  Pan,  of  one  of  the  oldest 
magisterial  families.2  My  great  grandfather  Du  Pan 
was  First  Syndic  of  the  Republic,  and  I  have  often 
heard  an  anecdote  of  him  which  is  characteristic  of  the 
simplicity  of  manners  of  that  time.  A  French  envoy, 
who  had  been  lately  appointed,  on  coming  to  pay  his 
first  visit  of  ceremony  to  the  syndic,  found  him  just 
returned  from  the  council,  and  seated  by  his  kitchen 
fire,  in  his  wig  and  sword,  eating  briselets  (a  sort  of 
crisp  cake),  hot  and  hot,  as  fast  as  they  could  be  made  ; 
and  as  the  chimney-mantel  admitted  of  several  persons 
being  seated  under  it,  the  old  gentleman  invited  the 
minister  to  take  a  chair  and  partake  of  his  collation. 

"  My  grandmother  had   been  handsome  ;    even  in 

1  Reminiscences  by  J.  L.  Mallet. 

2  The  first  Du  Pan  known  was  Etienne  Du  Pan,  a  landowner  at 
Vigon  in  Piedmont.      His  great-grandson,  Lucain,  was  received  as 
Bourgeois  de  Geneve  in  1488. 


her  advanced  age  she  had  great  remains  of  beauty, 
a  good  person,  regular  and  delicate  features  and 
complexion,  her  manners  were  gentle  and  graceful, 
but  the  high  spirit  broke  forth  when  roused  by  anything 
unbecoming.  She  was  a  strictly  religious  person,  and 
had  no  indulgence  for  the  loose  opinions  and  manners 
that  began  to  prevail  in  her  time.  My  grandfather's 
circumstances  were  narrow,  and  as  his  father,  who  lived 
to  the  age  of  eighty-seven,  survived  him  six  years,  his 
chief  dependence  was  on  his  living  of  Celigny  and  his 
wife's  fortune,  which  was  small.  His  income  could  not 
have  exceeded  ,£300  a  year." 

The  son  of  the  couple  thus  described,  Jacques,  after- 
wards known  as  Mallet  du  Pan,1  was  born  on  the  5th  of 
November  1749  at  Celigny,  a  village  between  Coppet 
and  Nyon  situated  on  rising  ground  which  commands  fine 
views  of  the  Alps  and  the  lake,  and  it  was  there  that  he 
spent  his  early  years  until  his  father's  death  which  oc- 
curred when  he  was  twelve  years  old.  He  was  brought 
up  at  the  famous  College  of  Geneva  founded  by  Calvin, 
to  whose  system  of  education  Geneva  owed  so  much 
of  its  prosperity,  and  at  fifteen  he  was  removed  to  the 
Auditoire  or  University  Class  where  he  studied  philo- 
sophy and  law.  He  seems  to  have  won  distinction  in 
his  classes,  but  no  formal  education  can  fully  explain  the 
growth  of  character,  and  Mallet  du  Pan  undoubtedly 
owed  both  his  qualities  of  mind  and  his  preparation  for 

1  Persons  of  the  same  family  at  Geneva  are  distinguished  not  by 
their  Christian  names  but  by  the  family  name  of  their  wives  when 
married  and  of  their  mothers  when  single.  6tienne  Mallet  therefore 
and  his  son  before  his  marriage  were  both  Mallet  du  Pan,  and  the 
latter,  having  become  known  as  a  writer  before  his  marriage,  retained 
the  name  of  Mallet  du  Pan  throughout  his  life,  instead  of  going  by 
the  name  of  Mallet  Vallier  (his  wife's  name)  as  he  would  have  done 
had  he  settled  and  lived  at  Geneva  in  the  ordinary  course. 


his  future  career  to  his  citizenship  of  Geneva,  which  from 
the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century  was  perhaps  the  most 
stimulating  intellectual  centre  to  be  found  in  Europe. 

Few  things  in  history  are  more  striking  than  the  con- 
trast between  the  pettiness  in  territory  and  population  of 
the  frontier  Republic,  and  the  greatness  of  the  part  she 
was  destined  to  play ;  between  her  outward  insignifi- 
cance, and  the  singular  and  successful  energy  of  her  sons. 
Before  the  Reformation  she  had  wrested  her  indepen- 
dence from  the  Dukes  of  Savoy,  independence  which 
she  maintained  only  by  the  strength  of  her  walls  and  the 
vigilance  of  her  citizens.  To  the  resolution  and  per- 
tinacity which  the  Genevese  acquired  in  these  struggles, 
the  Reformation  added  stern  religious  belief  and  moral 
discipline,  and  the  economic  necessities  of  a  State  with- 
out natural  resources  called  forth  the  exercise  of  intel- 
ligence, power  of  work,  and  attention  to  detail ;  and 
encouraged  positive  and  practical  views  of  life  at  the 
expense  of  the  faculties  of  humour  and  imagination. 
Such  were  the  qualities  which  built  up  the  Protestant 
Rome,  the  city  of  refuge  into  which  flowed  a  stream  of 
immigration  from  France,  and  they  remained  character- 
istic of  the  people  through  the  changes  brought  by  the 
eighteenth  century.  As  persecution  ceased  a  return  flow 
of  emigration  began,  active-minded  Genevese  sought 
fortune  in  France  and  other  countries,  and  there  was  set 
up  an  exchange  of  ideas  which,  combined  with  the  natural 
position  of  Geneva  at  a  point  of  junction  between  North 
and  South,  transformed  the  puritan  stronghold  during 
the  eighteenth  century  into  an  enlightened  cosmopolitan 
centre.  The  kind  of  influence  which  Geneva  exercised 
on  European  thought  is  shown  by  the  fact  that  she 
repaid  with  Rousseau  the  debt  she  had  incurred  from 


France  in  Calvin,  that  it  was  to  Geneva  that  Montes- 
quieu was  obliged  to  resort  to  publish  the  Esprit  des 
Lois,  that  De  Saussure,   Delolme,  and   many  eminent 
names  in  literature,  history,  politics  and  science  adorned 
her  annals,  that  she  received  in  her  neighbourhood  the 
author  of  the  Decline  and  Fall.     But  what  gave  the 
greatest  celebrity  to  Geneva  and  her  lake  as  a  place  of 
pilgrimage  for  all  that  was  distinguished  in  Europe  was 
the  settlement  there  of  the  literary  idol  of  the  century, 
Voltaire.    The  story  of  his  relations  with  the  Republic  is 
not  the  least  significant,  it  is  certainly  the  most  entertain- 
ing, chapter  in  the  annals  of  Geneva,  '  cite1  sournoise  ou 
jamais  Pon  ne  rit '  as  he  described  it.    The  Government 
were  from  the  first  divided  between  pride  at  receiving 
Voltaire  and  alarm  at  the  pernicious  influence  of  his 
opinions  ;  for  he  arrived  at  the  moment  when  the  conflict 
between  the  old  and  the  new  ideas  was  already  causing 
dissension  in  the  little  State.    The  theological  tyranny  of 
Calvin's  formidable  consistory  harmonised  ill  with  the 
spirit  of  which  Voltaire  was  the  incarnation,  but  it  was 
not  on  this  point  that  his  struggle  with  Genevese  puri- 
tanism  began.    Inhabitants  of  the  city  who  returned  from 
Paris,  enriched  by  operations  of  commerce  and  banking, 
which  had  now  become  important  sources  of  wealth  in 
Geneva  itself,  were  impatient  of  the  restraints  of  sumptu- 
ary laws  of  almost  unexampled  rigour  ;  men  who  had  set 
out  with  their  wives  in  chaises  deposte  brought  them  back 
covered  with  jewels  and  decked  in  the  latest  Parisian 
fashion,  in  brilliant  equipages,  followed  by  grooms  and 
riding  horses,  and  with  a  taste  for  frivolous  amusements 
which  the  literary  and  scientific  distractions  of  their  native 
town  were  not  sufficient  to  gratify.    They  returned  to  a 
town  whose  laws  enjoined  the  wearing  of  serge  and  black 


cloth,  punished  with  imprisonment  tailors  or  hat  makers 
who  should  introduce  any  new  fashions  without  the 
express  permission  of  the  council,  looked  upon  dancing 
with  horror  as  having  caused  the  death  of  St.  John  the 
Baptist,  and  had  with  great  difficulty  succeeded  in  re- 
pressing the  national  taste  of  the  people  for  theatrical 
representations  of  all  kinds.  The  mass  of  the  bourgeois 
and  the  people  were  still  devoted  to  the  Calvinist  regime, 
but  Voltaire's  arrival  was  sure  to  give  an  immense 
stimulus  to  the  desire  for  change  in  the  upper  classes, 
and  Voltaire's  gaiety  and  social  charm  soon  attracted 
many  of  them,  including  even  pasteurs  and  sons  of 
the  magistrates,  to  his  hospitable  domain  at  Les  Delices. 
Voltaire's  passion  was  the  theatre,  then  at  the  height  of 
its  vogue  in  France  where  private  theatricals  were  the 
main  diversion  of  society,  and  all  his  difficulties  with  the 
Genevese  Government,  who  were  backed  by  Rousseau 
and  the  poorer  classes,  arose  from  his  ceaseless  efforts  to 
set  up  a  stage  in  his  own  house  and  even  to  establish 
theatrical  representations  in  Geneva  itself.  The  jealous 
alarm  of  the  elders  of  the  city  at  the  success  of  his  efforts 
to  seduce  the  patrician  class  from  the  path  of  virtue, 
combined  with  the  scandal  of  the  unauthorised  publica- 
tion of  La  Pucelle,  drove  him  from  his  first  home  within 
the  territory  of  the  Republic  to  Lausanne,  and  finally 
caused  him  to  settle  at  Ferney,  situated  in  a  French 
enclave  between  Geneva  and  the  Bernese  Pays  de 
Vaud,  where  he  was  safe  from  their  interference.  Once 
established  there  he  gave  full  rein  to  his  tastes,  and  the 
best  of  Genevese  society  was  delighted  by  and  partici- 
pated in  the  performance  of  a  long  series  of  his  tragedies, 
and  enjoyed  intercourse  with  the  literary  and  fashionable 
celebrities  of  France  and  other  countries.  The  disputes 


caused  by  the  malicious  wit  of  the  old  philosopher  and 
the  austere  fanaticism  of  the  rulers  of  Geneva,  which 
divided  Genevese  society  and  did  much  to  undermine 
the  moral  and  religious  tradition  of  the  ' petilissime, 
parvulissime  et  p&dantissime '  Republic,  culminated  in 
the  burning  of  Candide  by  the  public  executioner  of 
Geneva,  and  Voltaire  thereupon  proceeded  in  charac- 
teristic fashion  to  revenge  himself  by  sowing  broadcast 
in  the  city  the  blasphemous  libels  against  Christianity 
which  disgraced  his  later  years. 

When  Mallet  du  Pan  appeared  upon  the  scene 
(literally  as  well  as  figuratively,  for  we  hear  of  him  as 
a  youthful  actor  at  Ferney)  these  disturbances  were 
matters  of  ancient  history.  Just  as  happened  in  the 
case  of  the  revolution  in  France,  political  agitation  had 
followed  upon  social  and  literary  upheaval,  agitation 
which  threatened  the  very  existence  of  the  State.  In 
Geneva  in  her  decadence,  no  less  than  in  France, 
there  was  plenty  of  material  for  political  discontent. 
The  constitutional  struggles  of  Geneva  derive  their 
main  interest  from  the  curious  manner  in  which  they 
prefigure  the  great  convulsion  in  France,  and  from 
the  connection  with  the  miniature  State  of  the  two 
great  names  of  Voltaire  and  Rousseau ;  of  men  like 
Necker,  the  Finance  Minister  of  the  Monarchy,  and  his 
still  more  famous  daughter,  Madame  de  Stael ;  of 
Claviere,  the  Finance  Minister  of  the  Convention  ;  of  Sir 
Francis  dTvernois,  the  pamphleteer  patronised  by  Pitt ; 
of  Dumont,  the  assistant  and  biographer  of  Mirabeau 
and  the  interpreter  of  Bentham,  and  of  Mallet  du  Pan 
himself.  But  they  have  an  interest  of  their  own,  not 
only  as  the  story  of  the  inevitable  end  of  one  of  those 
city-states  which  have  done  so  much  for  civilisation, 


but  also  as  being  full  of  lessons  for  political  students. 
Owing  to  the  growth  of  a  class  outside  the  original 
constitution  of  the  Republic  it  had  gradually  been 
transformed  into  an  aristocratic  oligarchy.  The  popu- 
lation of  Geneva  was  divided  into  three  political 
classes :  (i)  the  citizens  or  burghers  who  enjoyed  polit- 
ical rights  and  were  both  electors  and  alone  eligible  for 
public  employments ;  (2)  the  natifs,  or  sons  of  inhabi- 
tants who  had  not  been  admitted  to  the  freedom  of  the 
city,  who  continued  generation  after  generation  to  be 
deprived  of  all  political  privileges,  and  who  were  even 
debarred  from  the  exercise  of  certain  higher  branches  of 
trade  and  from  holding  commissions  in  the  town  militia  ; 
and  (3)  "  inhabitants "  or  strangers  settled  at  Geneva. 
The  natifs  became  in  the  course  of  time  by  far  the  most 
numerous  class,  and,  as  they  increased  in  number  and 
intelligence,  they  grew  more  and  more  impatient  of  their 
position.  Their  exasperation  led  them  at  last  to  open  acts 
of  hostility  which  ended  in  the  banishment  of  some  of 
the  most  distinguished  of  their  number.  The  first  of 
these  disturbances  occurred  in  the  years  1768,  1769  and 
1770,  just  when  Mallet  du  Pan  was  growing  into  man- 
hood. A  Genevese,  it  has  been  said,  imbibes  the  love 
of  politics  with  his  mother's  milk,  and  a  youth  of  Mallet's 
ardent  turn  of  mind  was  not  likely  to  remain  long  in- 
different to  the  conflict  of  opinions  about  him.  At  the 
age  of  twenty,  then,  he  sowed  his  wild  oats  as  a  demo- 
cratic agitator  by  writing  a  pamphlet1  which  became 
the  gospel  of  the  natifs,  and  was  publicly  burnt  before 
the  Hotel  de  Ville  as  a  "seditious  libel,  an  assault  on 

1  Compte  rendu  de  la  defense  des  ritoyens  bourgeois  de  Geneve,  1771 
(160  pages). 


the  State,  the  councils,  the  citizens  and  the  burgesses". 
As  his  son  observes  : — l 

"  My  father's  family  and  connections  were  all  on 
the  aristocratic  side,  some  of  his  nearest  relatives 
being  members  of  the  Government ;  but  the  same 
generous  feeling,  although  in  a  different  direction, 
which  many  years  afterwards  enlisted  his  talents  on 
the  side  of  an  oppressed  minority  in  France,  induced 
him  in  the  year  1770,  when  hardly  of  age,  to  embrace 
the  popular  side  at  Geneva.  It  required  no  little 
strength  of  character  and  political  courage,  situated  as 
he  was,  to  quit  his  natural  ranks,  and,  disregarding  the  pre- 
judices and  pride  of  opinion  of  his  family  and  friends,  to 
advocate  those  higher  principles  of  freedom  now  generally 
acknowledged,  but  which  were  at  variance  with  the  policy 
and  practice  both  of  ancient  and  modern  Republics." 

This  exploit  of  Mallet  du  Pan  was  not  so  inconsis- 
tent with  his  later  opinions  as  a  superficial  view  would 
suggest.  It  shows  him  at  all  events  a  typical  product 
of  his  country  at  a  time  when,  as  we  have  seen,  new 
wine  was  being  poured  so  rapidly  into  old  bottles.  In 
his  moral  outlook  with  its  passionate  and  courageous 
earnestness,  and  in  the  positive  and  practical  character 
of  his  intellect,  he  was  a  Genevese  of  the  old  school ; 
in  his  love  of  freedom  and  justice,  in  his  popular  sym- 
pathies, and  in  his  willingness  to  examine  new  ideas  on 
their  merits,  he  was  a  child  of  his  age.  It  would  not 
have  been  difficult  to  predict  what  his  final  attitude 
would  be  towards  the  political  philosophy  which  pre- 
tended to  regenerate  mankind  by  building  afresh  on  the 
ruins  of  existing  religious  and  political  systems,  but  he 
was  still  to  feel  his  way,  and  form  his  opinions  in  his 
own  characteristic  fashion  by  actual  observation.  From 

1  Reminiscences. 


this  point  of  view  his  introduction  to  Voltaire  and  his 
circle  was  an  event  of  capital  importance  to  the  young 
student  of  politics.  Struck  by  his  independence  and 
probably  not  displeased  at  seeing  his  old  enemies  of 
the  council  attacked  by  one  of  their  own  class,  Voltaire 
sought  his  acquaintance  and  asked  him  to  Ferney,  where 
he  was  a  frequent  guest  until  the  philosopher's  death 
eight  years  later,  in  1778.  To  his  patronage  Mallet  du 
Pan  owed  his  recommendation  in  1772  for  the  post  of 
Professor  of  History  and  Literature  to  the  Landgrave 
of  Hesse  Cassel.  Mallet  du  Pan  accepted  the  offer  and 
proceeded  to  Cassel  where  he  delivered  an  inaugural 
address,1  but  the  serious  and  independent  young  Gene- 
vese  was  hardly  the  man  to  suit  a  German  prince 
whose  flirtation  with  French  philosophy  did  not  pre- 
vent him  from  selling,  a  little  later,  battalions  of  his 
subjects,  at  so  much  a  head,  to  the  British  Govern- 
ment for  the  purpose  of  putting  down  the  rising 
freedom  of  the  United  States.  He  accordingly  re- 
mained but  a  short  time  at  Cassel  from  whence  he 
returned  in  the  following  year  to  Geneva.  His  son 
hints  that  there  were  other  reasons  for  his  return.  A 
college  friendship  at  this  time  took  him  frequently  to 
Aubonne,  a  beautifully  situated  town  in  the  Pays  de 
Vaud,  where  he  met  the  young  lady  who  was  to  be- 
come his  wife,  Mdlle  Vallier  of  that  place.  He  was 
often  accompanied  to  Aubonne  by  some  of  his  Geneva 
friends,  particularly  by  a  certain  Italian  count  whose 
pursuits  assimilated  to  his  own. 

"These  young  men  were  great  lions,  for  they  fre- 
quented Voltaire's  house  ;  they  had  seen  some  of  his 

1  Entitled   Quelle  est  F influence  de  la  philosophic  sur  les  belles 
lettres,  on  the  8th  April,   1772,  Cassel. 


tragedies  acted  there,  and  were  full  of  the  library 
novelties  of  the  time.  .  .  .  The  Bailli,  or  governor 
of  the  district,  happened  to  be  a  man  of  education, 
whose  wife  took  pains  to  make  his  house  agreeable 
to  his  friends,  and  occasionally  got  up  a  French 
play  for  the  young  people ;  my  father  and  mother 
acted  together  in  the  Gageure  Imprdvue  of  Sedaine, 
my  mother  undertaking  the  part  of  the  Marquise 
de  Clairville.  Our  Genevese  relations,  who  never 
liked  the  marriage,  even  now  seemed  to  consider 
these  theatricals  as  the  trap  which  caught  my  father's 
heart ;  and  my  uncle  Mallet  in  a  late  letter,  giving  me 
some  account  of  the  early  occurrences  of  my  father's 
life,  dwells  on  this  circumstance,  as  if  a  young  man  of 
twenty-five,  falling  in  love  with  a  young  girl  of  eighteen 
was  quite  a  novelty  in  the  world.  Such  things  did 
happen,  however,  even  in  the  good  old  times.  It  was 
natural  that  my  father's  family  should  wish  him  to 
marry  at  Geneva,  where  his  talents  and  connections 
might  have  procured  him  an  advantageous  match,  but 
their  interference  was  too  pertinacious.  My  father 
was  not  only  gifted  with  great  independence  of  char- 
acter, no  great  help  towards  making  a  provision  for  his 
family,  but  with  a  just  confidence  in  his  powers  of 
useful  exertion ;  so  that  when  his  mother  and  uncles 
found  him  deaf  to  their  collected  wisdom,  they  had  the 
good  sense  to  make  the  best  of  a  bad  case.  My 
mother  was  of  a  respectable  family  :  her  manners  were 
extremely  pleasing ;  and  having  been  brought  up  with 
great  simplicity  of  tastes  and  habits,  she  became  a 
great  favourite  with  my  father's  family  and  friends  :  still 
it  was  necessary  to  live,  and  my  father,  when  married, 
looked  about  him  for  some  literary  employment."  l 

Meanwhile  he  settled  in  Geneva,  and  devoted  him- 
self to  his  favourite  studies,  particularly  to  historical 
reading  the  fruits  of  which  had  a  lasting  effect  on  his 

1  Reminiscences. 



opinions  and  showed  itself  in  all  his  subsequent  writings. 
For  the  moment  indeed  it  led  him  into  an  exaggerated 
distrust  of  systems.  "We  must  return,"  he  exclaimed, 
"to  experimentalism  in  politics,  the  task  of  which 
should  be  to  remove  the  unequal  burden  cast  upon 
the  people  by  the  existence  of  privileged  classes,  and 
to  establish  civil  if  not  social  equality."  In  this  atti- 
tude of  generous  revolt  the  young  writer  fell  under 
the  attraction  of  the  too  famous  Linguet,  who  in  his 
Thtorie  des  Lois  Civiles,  an  eloquent  and  original  satire 
upon  the  civil  organisation  of  France  under  the  para- 
doxical form  of  a  panegyric  of  despotism  as  the  only 
hope  for  the  people,  had  attacked  the  economists  and 
the  encyclopaedists,  rehabilitated  slavery,  and  exalted 
the  East  at  the  expense  of  the  West. 

It  was  to  champion  thisfrondeur  and  controvert  the 
reasonings  of  his  assailants  drawn  from  Montesquieu's 
Esprit  des  Lois,  which  he  then  styled  a  " plaidoyer  pour 
F  aristocratic  "  but  which  experience  and  observation  of 
republican  governments  very  soon  caused  him  to  regard 
as  a  mine  of  political  wisdom, x  that  Mallet  du  Pan 
published  in  1775,  at  the  age  of  twenty-five,  a  curious 
essay  called  Doutes  sur  r Eloquence.  The  only  interest 
of  the  book,  which  was  an  attack  on  the  political  and 
economic  regimes  of  Northern  Europe  as  a  usurpation 
maintained  against  the  interests  of  the  majority,  is  auto- 
biographical. Crude  and  doctrinaire  as  it  is,  it  shows 
how  near  to  his  heart  were  the  principles  of  humanity  and 
justice,  his  attachment  to  which  survived  the  excesses  of 
the  Revolution.  If  Mallet  du  Pan  was  to  prove  the 
strongest  adherent  of  the  Monarchy  against  its  ene- 
mies, it  was  not  because,  as  has  been  said,  he  was 

bayous,  i.,  114. 


4  sans  entrailles  pour  les  peuples '.  The  essay  had  one 
important  result  for  the  author,  it  brought  him  into 
personal  relations  with  Linguet  and  thus  initiated  him 
into  the  career  of  journalism. 

Linguet,  now  completely  forgotten,  but  in  his  day 
one  of  the  most  prominent  figures  in  France,  was  a  man 
born  to  be  his  own  worst  enemy.  He  was  a  person  of 
brilliant  and  versatile  ability,  but  of  vanity,  jealousy  and 
self-confidence  even  more  remarkable  than  his  ability. 
'  Opinidtre,  inflammable,  inflexible ,'  as  he  described 
himself,  he  was  the  Ishmael  of  letters,  and  his  career 
which  all  France  followed  with  interest  for  twenty  years 
led  him,  after  interminable  persecution  at  the  hands 
of  the  agents  and  ministers  of  absolute  monarchy,  to 
death  on  the  guillotine  for  his  flattery  of  despots.  Liter- 
ature had  been  his  earliest  pursuit,  but  as  money  was 
a  necessity  and  "  it  was  better  to  be  a  wealthy  cook 
than  an  unknown  savant "  he  went  to  the  bar  where 
two  causes  cdlebres,  his  successful  defence  of  the  Due 
d'Aiguillon  and  the  Comte  de  Merangids,  immediately 
gave  him  a  great  reputation.  He  then  proceeded  to 
make  his  position  impossible  by  insolent  attacks  on  his 
colleagues  and  the  magistrates  for  which  he  was  dis- 
barred, and  turning  again  to  literature  he  accepted  from 
the  publisher  Pancoucke  the  editorship  of  one  of  his  new 
enterprises,  the  Journal  de  Bruxelles,  and  so  became 
the  founder  of  modern  journalism.  But  he  did  not  long 
maintain  the  decent  level  of  literary  and  political  criticism 
he  had  proposed  for  himself.  Giving  full  rein  to  the 
caustic  bitterness  of  his  disposition  he  tilted  against  all 
the  powers,  ministerial  and  philosophic,  in  France,  and  in 
1776  crowned  his  offences  by  an  article  on  the  reception 
of  La  Harpe  at  the  Academy,  in  which  he  inveighed 


against  the  new  member  as  a  'petit  homme,  orgueilleux, 
insolent  et  has,'  and  against  the  august  body  which  had 
previously  repulsed  his  own  attempt  to  enter  it.  The 
outraged  academicians  appealed  successfully  to  the 
Government,  and  the  Garde  des  Sceaux  Miromesnil 
ordered  Pancoucke  to  expel  him  from  the  editorship, 
which  he  did,  adding  insult  to  injury  by  giving  the  post 
to  La  Harpe.  The  "modern  Aretino,"  the  panegyrist 
of  Asiatic  despotism,  then  retired,  not,  as  Grimm 
satirically  observed,  to  Ispahan,  but  to  London,  and 
there  founded  his  famous  Annales,  '  melange  de  raison^ 
de  dtlire,  de  grossierete1  et  de  talent  1  which  with  many 
interruptions  he  carried  on  till  the  Revolution.  But  he 
did  not  long  remain  in  London,  where  he  gave  offence 
by  his  attacks  on  British  institutions  and  British 
morals,  and  retired  to  Brussels.  In  France  he  was 
again  denounced  before  the  Parlement  and  in  spite  of 
powerful  protectors,  for  the  king  and  queen  seemed 
to  have  thoroughly  enjoyed  his  audacious  sallies  against 
the  literary  and  philosophic  coteries  of  Paris,  he  was  at 
last  attracted  or  enticed  to  the  capital,  where  in  1 780 
he  was  clapped  into  the  Bastille.  Emerging  two  years 
later  he  continued  his  stormy  journalistic  career,  varied 
by  an  excursion  to  Vienna,  where  Joseph  II.  whom  he 
had  flattered  at  first  ennobled  and  pensioned  him,  and 
then  dismissed  him  for  a  defence  of  the  insurgents  of 

It  was  during  his  wanderings  abroad  after  his  ad- 
venture with  La  Harpe  that  this  political  swashbuckler 
made  his  appearance  at  Ferney,  where  Voltaire,  who  in 
spite  of  his  differences  with  the  encyclopaedist  philoso- 
phers was  always  careful  to  remain  on  good  terms  with 
them,  positively  shuddered  under  the  infliction  of  his 


presence,  and  oddly  and  savagely  described  him  as  '  le 
premier  dcrivain  des  charniers  (charnel-house  writer) 
sans  contestation '.  But  Mallet  du  Pan,  whose  admira- 
tion for  his  independence  and  originality  appears  not 
to  have  been  dispelled  by  closer  acquaintance,  decided 
to  collaborate  with  him  in  the  new  journalistic  ven- 
ture which  Linguet  intended  to  establish  in  England. 
In  1777  accordingly  Mallet  journeyed  to  London,  and 
thence  to  Brussels,  where  Linguet  finally  arranged  for 
the  publication  of  his  Annales  politiques,  civiles  et 
litte'raires  du  XVIIIe  siecle, 

Of  this  journey  to  England  which  procured  him 
acquaintances  and  confirmed  his  English  prepossessions 
no  record  remains.  But  the  Annales  was  founded,  and 
Mallet  conducted  the  Swiss  edition  and  contributed 
much  valuable  matter,  especially  on  economic  subjects 
which  he  treated  with  refreshing  solidity  and  common 
sense *  and  in  a  spirit  severely  critical  towards  the  sect 
of  the  economists,  with  their  logogriphes,  their  impSt 
unique  and  their  leanings  to  legal  despotism.  It  is 
curious  in  this  connection  to  notice  with  how  little 
enthusiasm  he  writes  of  Turgot,  who  had  been  called 
upon  to  reform  the  financial  administration  of  France 
in  their  sense,  compared  with  his  eulogies  of  Necker's 
economic  work.  It  is  difficult  to  imagine  that  two  men 
of  such  fundamentally  different  dispositions  as  Linguet 
and  Mallet  could  long  have  co-operated.  Linguet's 
incarceration  in  the  Bastille  at  all  events  brought  the 
partnership  to  an  end,  and  Mallet  du  Pan  decided  to 

1  His  comments  on  the  studied  mystery  with  which  its  votaries 
had  surrounded  financial  questions,  his  doubts  as  to  the  necessity  of 
any  such  obscurity  and  his  own  lucid  expositions  of  principles  are 
characteristic  of  this  spirit. 



continue  the  publication  on  his  own  account  till  Linguet 
should  reappear.  This  he  did  at  Lausanne  for  over 
two  years  from  the  close  of  the  year  1780,  continuing  of 
course  to  live  in  Geneva  until  his  migration  to  Paris  in 
the  autumn  of  1783. 

It  was  no  low  ideal  which  the  young  editor,  who 
had  now  at  thirty  attained  an  independent  position,  set 
before  himself  in  his  self-chosen  career  of  journalism, 
a  career  which  was  to  cover  twenty  of  the  most  event- 
ful years  of  modern  European  history.  He  set  out 
with  a  large  dose  of  contempt  for  the  "  bastard  species 
of  literary  men  called  journalists  and  critics  who  swarmed 
in  the  great  capitals,"  a  contempt  which  grew  with  his 
later  experience  in  Paris,  until  writing  and  authorship 
themselves  became  distasteful  to  him.  He  wrote  from 
the  beginning  with  a  sense  of  responsibility *  which  is 
the  characteristic  of  men  of  action  rather  than  of  men 
of  letters.  Impartiality,  frankness,  love  of  liberty  were 
inborn  in  him,  but  first  among  the  requisites  for  com- 
menting on  ideas  and  events  he  always  placed  assured 
and  scrupulously  verified  information  and  disinterested 
search  for  truth.  If  it  was  beyond  his  power  always 
to  circumstantiate  recent  facts,  he  waged  ceaseless  war 
against  the  printed  lies  and  puerile  inventions  which 
formed  the  staple  of  the  public  news  of  that  day,  and 
were  accepted,  as  he  said,  with  incorrigible  ineptitude 
and  credulity  by  the  public.  But  he  was  far  from 
confining  himself  to  the  chronicler's  task,  the  triste 
mttier,  as  he  somewhere  calls  it,  of  an  annalist.  Writ- 
ing at  a  time  when  "  readers  were  so  sated  with  tedious 
political  intrigue  and  still  more  tedious  warfare  that 
they  had  lost  the  power  of  following  great  events,  and 

1  Cf.  Note  on  p.  105. 


took  as  much  interest  in  a  duel  between  ships  of  war 
as  they  had  formerly  shown  in  the  ruin  of  a  kingdom ; 
when  curiosity  fed  on  scandalous  anecdote  and  the  mira- 
cles of  a  Mesmer  or  a  Cagliostro,"  he  prided  himself 
on  investigating  and  bringing  to  notice  every  important 
European  event  and  endeavouring  to  give  a  faithful 
picture  of  its  causes.  Contemporary  historian  was  the 
designation  he  chose  for  himself,  he  often  deplored  the 
necessity  which  compelled  him  to  be  an  observer  of  his 
times  rather  than  the  historian,  and  he  constantly  strove 
to  combine  the  functions  of  both  in  his  journalistic  work.1 
The  impression  conveyed  by  the  tone  of  his  com- 
ments is  curiously  modern.  There  are  observations 
on  the  tremendous  rivalry  in  armaments  and  on  the 
universal  militarism  of  the  time,  on  the  growth  of 
plutocracy,  on  the  character  and  true  use  of  naval 
power,  which  might  have  been  written  to-day.  Mallet 
du  Pan  was  perhaps  at  his  best  in  his  rapid  but 
masterly  sketches  of  the  career  of  a  Pombal  or  a 

1  The  following  note  from  the  Reminiscences  shows  how  early 
he  began  the  practice  of  carefully  organising  his  sources  of  informa- 
tion which  gave  such  value  to  his  work  in  the  Revolutionary  epoch. 

"On  the  death  of  Sir  Samuel  Romilly,  his  executor  (my  friend 
Mr.  Wishaw)  gave  me  a  letter  from  his  sister,  Mme  Roget,  who 
married  a  Genevese,  dated  Geneva  the  3151  May  1781,  proposing 
to  her  brother  to  supply  my  father  once  a  week  with  such  public 
intelligence  and  observations  as  might  be  useful  to  him  in  the  publi- 
cation of  his  work.  'Mr.  Mallet,'  she  says,  'is  a  Republican;  he 
is  partial  to  our  country,  he  loves  the  truth,  and  is  a  determined 
assertor  of  it.'  Romilly  probably  declined  the  proposal;  but  he 
and  my  father  were  afterwards  brought  together  at  Paris,  and  renewed 
their  acquaintance  at  a  later  period  in  London,  where  he  experienced 
many  attentions  from  Sir  Samuel.  He  was  extremely  kind  to  me  to 
the  last,  and  asked  me  occasionally  to  his  house,  where  I  have  met 
some  of  the  most  distinguished  persons  of  our  time." 


Rodney,  or  in  historical  summaries  such  as  those  in 
which  he  recounted  the  hypocritical  treatment  of  the 
Jewish  race  by  Europe ;  when  he  described  the  prin- 
ciples which  had  prevailed  in  the  matter  of  religious 
toleration,  and  when  he  distinguished  between  the 
impolicy  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes  which  marked  the 
final  estrangement  of  the  two  religions  and  the  ruin 
of  the  weaker,  and  the  statesmanship  of  the  Edict  of 
Joseph  II.,  which  recognised  and  safeguarded  liberty 
of  conscience  while  preserving  the  necessary  pre- 
eminence of  the  national  religion. 

In  the  course  of  some  critical  remarks  on  Voltaire's 
historical  writings l  he  has  given  his  idea  of  the  qualifica- 
tions which  distinguish  the  historian  from  the  chronicler 
and  romance  writer :  "  Among  his  indispensable  re- 
quirements is  the  power  of  criticising  his  authorities 
and  weighing  the  character,  views,  position  and  trust- 
worthiness of  previous  writers,  of  labouring  to  reconcile 
them  and  to  verify  conjectures,  dates  and  documents, 
of  distinguishing  between  truth  and  probability,  of 
confronting  imposture  with  reason  and  fact ". 

Voltaire  as  an  historian  hardly  came  up  to  such  a 
standard  as  this.  His  critic  does  full  justice  to  his 
brilliant  clearness  of  style,  to  the  art  with  which  he 
compared  or  contrasted  facts,  to  his  penetrating  coup 
d'ceil,  to  his  unapproached  faculty  for  marshalling  events 
in  an  orderly  and  interesting  manner  ;  qualities  which 
led  Lord  Chesterfield  to  say  of  the  Siecle  de  Louis 
XIV  that  while  Bolingbroke  had  taught  him  how  to 
read  history,  Voltaire  had  taught  him  how  to  write  it. 

1  In  an  article  entitled  De  la  Manure  d"ecrire  Vhistoire,  in  which 
he  discusses  some  ancient  and  modern  historical  works  including 
those  of  Hume,  Robertson,  Gibbon  and  Voltaire. 


But  Mallet  signalised  as  a  dangerous  example  to  his- 
torians Voltaire's  contempt  for  accurate  knowledge,  his 
method  of  substituting  for  it  philosophic  opinions,  and 
his  sceptical  reasoning  which  dispensed  with  learning 
and  refuted  research  by  epigram.  He  had,  wrote 
Mallet  du  Pan,  confined  his  criticisms  to  the  discussion 
of  superstitious  fables,  and  his  doubts  and  researches 
to  the  region  of  religious  credulity.  He  had  given  but 
little  study  to  laws,  morality  and  public  right,  or  to  the 
political  causes  of  the  development,  the  fall,  or  the 
preservation  of  empires.  He  was  dazzled  and  sub- 
jugated by  love  of  the  arts  and  of  magnificence  in 
sovereigns  or  princely  protectors  of  painters  and  poets. 
Finally  for  the  solution  of  historical  problems  he  too 
often  fell  back  on  the  dogma  of  fatality,  '  Dogme  cruel 
fait  pour  encourager  le  crime,  pour  oter  a  la  vertu  toute 
son  dnergie,  et  dont  un  historien  sage  devrait  cacher 
les  preuves '. 

It  was  not  as  historian  only  that  Mallet  du  Pan  had 
occasion  at  this  time  and  in  later  years  to  criticise  Vol- 
taire's ideas  and  defend  his  memory.  He  did  both  in 
language  which  shows  how  little  permanent  influence 
his  intercourse  with  Voltaire  had  on  his  own  modes  of 
thought.1  He  must  have  felt  towards  him  the  loyal 
attachment  so  easily  inspired  in  his  juniors  by  an  old 
man  of  great  distinction  who  honours  them  by  his  at- 
tention :  he  admired  him  as  a  man  of  letters,  the  greatest 
the  modern  world  has  yet  seen,  he  could  sympathise 
with  the  genuine  hatred  of  intolerance  and  oppression 
which  was  the  only  definitely  liberal  sentiment  in  Vol- 
taire's political  creed  ;  and  there  can  be  no  doubt  that 

1 "  Jamais,"  remarks  the  historian  Muller,  "  on  n'est  parvenu  a 
faire  changer  a  un  genevois  sa  maniere  de  voir." 


association  with  the  literary  dictator  of  Europe  and  his 
friends  gave  him  the  confidence  and  the  assurance  which 
enabled  him  so  early  to  hold  his  own  in  the  literary 
world.  From  being  provincial  he  became  cosmopolitan. 
But  of  conformity  with  Voltaire's  opinions  in  philosophy 
or  politics  it  would  be  difficult  to  find  a  trace.  There 
is  far  more  protest  than  agreement  even  in  an  article 
in  which  he  warmly  defends  his  dead  patron  against 
the  denunciations  of  an  anonymous  correspondent. 
The  indignant  writer  had  attacked  Voltaire's  works  as 
a  '  collection  d' infamies  et  d' ordures  J  and  in  particular 
accused  him  of  having  severed  all  the  ties  which  bind 
mankind  to  a  Divinity.  No  one  man  more  sincerely 
deplored  the  unworthy  productions  of  his  decrepitude 
or  the  monotonously  indecent  pleasantry  with  which  he 
treated  the  most  serious  subjects  ;  his  outrages  on  reve- 
lation and  the  manner  in  which  he  invariably  confused 
the  absurdities  of  theology  with  the  truths  of  Chris- 
tianity ;  and  the  terrible  influence  of  his  diatribes  on 
public  opinion.1  All  the  more  notable  therefore  was 
Mallet's  declaration  that  during  the  eight  consecutive 
years  of  his  acquaintance  with  Voltaire,  at  a  time  when 

1  Sainte-Beuve  speaking  of  Mallet  du  Pan's  religious  opinions  de- 
scribes him  as  "  un  protestant,  je  dirais  meme  un  de"iste ".  I  may 
therefore  quote  a  confession  of  faith,  sufficiently  remarkable  in  a 
man  of  letters  of  the  eighteenth  century,  which  he  printed  in  reply 
to  a  correspondent  who  professed  ignorance  of  his  "principles"  and 
more  than  hinted  that  he  sympathised  with  those  of  Voltaire :  "  Mes 
principes  sont  ceux  d'un  citoyen  de  Geneve  e"leve  dans  la  religion 
Calviniste,  celle  de  ses  peres  et  de  son  souverain,  ayant  appris  par 
1'excellente  Education  qu'on  regoit  dans  sa  patrie,  et  par  1'exemple  du 
clerge*  le  plus  vertueux  et  le  plus  e'claire,  a  adorer  la  main  Divine  dans 
ses  ouvrages  et  dans  le  bienfait  de  la  Revelation,  a  etre  religieux  sans 
superstition,  et  tolerant  sans  impidte  "  (Annales,  ii.,  444). 


he  was  flooding  Europe  with  his  '  inddcentes  goguenar- 
deries'  he  had  never  surprised  him  in  a  single  doubt  as 
to  the  existence  of  God  or  in  a  jest  on  this  subject. 
The  author  of  the  line,  '  Si  Dieu  riexistait  pas,  ilfau- 
drait  rinventer'  never,  he  asserted,  abnegated  in  private 
this  doctrine  of  his  works.  In  health  or  sickness,  gay 
or  serious,  with  Christians,  atheists,  theists,  he  always 
professed  his  respect  for  "natural  religion". 

"I  saw  him,"  writes  Mallet,  "one  evening  at  supper 
give  a  tremendous  lesson  to  d'Alembert  and  Condorcet 
by  sending  his  servants  out  of  the  room  in  the  middle  of 
the  meal,  and  saying  to  the  two  academicians,  '  Now, 
gentlemen,  you  are  at  liberty  to  pursue  your  discussion. 
As  I  do  not  wish  to  be  robbed  and  murdered  to-night 
by  my  servants  I  am  anxious  that  all  notions  of  God 
and  of  a  future  state  should  not  be  eradicated  from 
their  minds.' "  1 

1 J.  L.  Mallet's  Reminiscences,  or  as  Mallet  du  Pan  repeats  it  : 
"  Maintenant,  Messieurs,  continuez  vos  propos  centre  Dieu.  Mais 
comme  je  ne  veux  pas  etre  egorge  et  vole  cette  nuit  par  mes  domes- 
tiques  il  est  bon  qu'ils  ne  vous  ecoutent  pas  "  (Merc.  Brit.,  ii.,  349). 
In  his  account  of  Voltaire  (Mercure  Britannique,  1798), he  brings  out 
even  more  clearly  Voltaire's  attitude  towards  religion  and  the  funda- 
mental difference  between  it  and  that  of  the  other  anti-religious 
schools  of  Paris.  "  De  la  terre  etrangere  ou  il  s'etait  refugie*  le  Poete 
declara  la  guerre  a  la  religion.  Cette  entreprise  devient  pour  lui  un 
amusement,  une  vengeance,  bientot  un  besoin  et  une  passion.  Tous 
les  six  mois  il  enfantait  une  diatribe.  Lorsqu'il  cut  epuise"  ses 
apostrophes  a  1'Eglise  Romaine  et  ses  reproches  au  sacerdoce,  il 
attaqua  le  Christianisme  :  toutes  les  communions  essuyerent  ses  ou- 
trages, et  il  se  prodama  le  chef  (Tun  Thiisme  dans  les  bases  duquel  il  a 
souvent  vacill'e.  Son  scepticisme  neanmoins  conserva  quelque  mesure : 
il  jugeait  impolitique  et  dangereux  de  precher  publiquement  1'atheisme, 
la  materialite  de  1'ame,  et  le  neant  apres  la  mort.  '  Je  veux,'  ecrivait-il 
a  un  athee  de  Paris,  '  que  les  Princes  et  les  Ministres  reconnaissent 
un  Dieu,  et  meme  un  Dieu  qui  punisse  et  qui  pardonne.  Sans  ce 
frein  je  les  regarderais  comme  des  animaux  fe*roces,' "  etc. 


"Three  months,"  he  wrote,1  "after  the  publication 
of  D'Holbach's  Systeme  de  la  Nature,  Voltaire  received 
an  enthusiastic  letter,  which  I  saw,  from  the  heir  pre- 
sumptive to  a  German  State.  This  prince  made  no 
secret  of  the  disastrous  impression  the  work  had  made 
on  his  mind,  and  appeared  an  ardent  proselyte  of  its 
doctrines.  Voltaire  in  his  reply  confuted  his  doubts, 
concluding,  '  In  a  word,  Prince,  this  book  appears  to  me 
pernicious  both  to  peoples  and  to  kings. — II  n'y  a  qu'une 
fureur  detestable  qui  puisse  attaquer  cette  religion 
sainte :  adorez  Dieu  et  soyez  juste.'"2 

If  Mallet  du  Pan's  principles  kept  him  from  becom- 
ing a  convert  to  the  ideas  of  the  encyclopaedist  sect 
to  which  Voltaire  may  have  hoped  to  attach  him,  his 
political  ideas  were  no  less  at  variance  with  the  pre- 
judices which  did  duty  for  statesmanship  in  Voltaire. 
He  gave  a  striking  account,  in  an  article  on  the  in- 
fluence of  the  philosophers  on  the  French  Revolution 
published  in  the  Mercure  Britannique  many  years 
later,  of  Voltaire's  belief  in  monarchy,  his  indifference 
to  the  rights  of  the  people,  his  aversion  to  political 
speculation  and  republican  forms  of  government.  His 

lAnnales,  i.,  303. 

2  Here  is  another  anecdote  from  the  Reminiscences :  "  My  father 
having  gone  one  morning  to  Ferney  to  breakfast,  and  being  in 
Voltaire's  bedroom,  M.  Fabri  du  Gex  came  in  with  an  artist  of  his 
acquaintance,  whom  he  wished  to  introduce  to  Voltaire.  The  artist 
was  attended  by  a  dog  that  followed  him  into  the  room ;  and  who, 
brushing  by  the  chimney,  knocked  down  the  tongs  and  shovel,  to 
the  great  annoyance  of  Voltaire,  who,  violently  pulling  the  bell,  said 
to  the  footman  who  came  in,  '  Lavigne,  send  up  one  of  my  carriage 
horses  to  keep  company  with  this  gentleman's  dog  '.  Voltaire  used 
to  say  that  it  was  a  very  agreeable  circumstance  to  live  under  a 
government  of  which  the  sovereigns  requested  you  to  send  your 
carriage  for  them  when  you  asked  them  to  dinner." 


knowledge  of  political  subjects  was  slight,  and  he  had 
given  but  little  thought  to  them,  as  his  criticism  of 
Montesquieu  showed.  He  lived,  observes  Mallet  du 
Pan,  for  fifteen  consecutive  years  at  the  gates  of  a  city 
in  which  questions  of  republican  government  were  the 
constant  subject  of  debate,  without  ever  understanding 
the  elements  of  them.  He  loved  neither  republican 
nor  despotic  states,  but  he  detested  the  common  people 
and  dreaded  their  influence,  though  he  would  not  syste- 
matically have  oppressed  them.  How  little  he  thought 
the  French  fit  for  political  liberty  may  be  judged  from 
his  remark  :  '  Nous  sommes  une  nation  d'enfants  mutins 
a  qui  il  faut  donner  des  fouets  et  des  sucreries"  All  his 
inclinations  and  prejudices  were  monarchical,  his  sincere 
enthusiasm  for  Louis  XIV.  proved  it ;  and  his  aim  was 
always  to  conciliate  authority  and  enlist  the  ruling  classes 
on  his  side  in  his  attacks  on  Christianity.  "In  politics 
he  was  but  a  flatterer."  With  such  opinions  it  would 
have  been  absurd  to  attribute  to  Voltaire  any  design 
to  subvert  by  violent  means  the  political  institutions  and 
the  form  of  society  in  France,  and  Mallet  du  Pan  acquits 
him  of  such  an  intention.  "  Persons  like  myself,"  he 
wrote,  "  who  frequented  his  house,  can  bear  witness 
that  no  word  ever  escaped  him  which  revealed  the 
faintest  desire  to  see  the  form  of  government  in  his 
own  country  changed."  Voltaire  indeed  never  dreamt 
of  such  an  event  as  the  Revolution  ;  and  his  disregard 
of  civil  freedom,  his  love  of  authority,  privilege  and 
rank,  his  timidity  of  character  and  fastidiousness, 
were  all  aristocratic.  As  Mallet  observed : — 

"  The  first   chateau  in  flames  and   Voltaire  would 
have  abandoned  his  own  and  taken  refuge  abroad  ;  the 


first  head  on  a  pike,  and  he  would  have  thought  himself 
in  the  days  of  the  League  and  died  of  fright.  The 
destruction  of  the  Church  and  of  religion  itself  would 
not  have  mitigated  his  terror,  for  much  as  he  hated 
priests  and  the  mass,  he  hated  even  more  assassins, 
plunderers  and  incendiaries." 

The  personal  connection  between  the  two  men  has 
made  it  necessary  to  dwell  at  some  length  on  the  attitude 
of  Mallet  du  Pan  towards  Voltaire.  His  opinion  of 
the  latter's  nominal  followers,  of  the  encyclopaedists,  of 
Diderot  and  d'Alembert,  as  well  as  of  Condorcet  and 
all  the  Illumines  fanatiques  whose  works  became  the 
manual  of  Jacobinism,  belongs  to  the  revolutionary 
period,  when  he  expressed  it  with  biting  directness  on 
many  occasions.  As  he  wrote  later  :— 

"  Du  Clerge,  de  la  Cour,  de  la  Noblesse,  de  la 
Finance,  du  Barreau,  des  Regiments,  des  Lycees,  on 
vit  eclore  un  essaim  de  Platons  populaciers  et  blasph^- 
mateurs,  dont  la  sottise  et  1'insolence  eussent  fait  rougir 
de  honte  leurs  premiers  instituteurs,  dont  les  exces  eussent 
fait  regretter  la  vie  a  Rousseau  et  a  Voltaire  ". 

We  know  that  in  his  earlier  years  in  Paris  he 
held  very  much  aloof  from  them.  Philosophers  with 
so  slight  a  hold  on  the  realities  of  life  and  govern- 
ment had  no  attraction  for  one,  the  practical  and 
historical  bent  of  whose  genius  was  leading  him 
more  and  more  to  distrust  abstractions  and  to  follow 
experience  in  his  political  and  constitutional  specula- 
tions. He  ranged  himself  definitely  in  these  years 
of  preparation  under  the  banner  of  Montesquieu  the 
founder  of  the  new  science  of  history,  and  in  this 
fact  we  have  the  sufficient  explanation  of  his  attitude 
towards  the  Revolution.  For  Montesquieu  is  the  anti- 


thesis  of  Rousseau,  and  Rousseau  was  the  prophet  of  the 
new  era.  The  reign  of  Rousseau  over  public  opinion 
only  began  when  Voltaire's  ended,  after  the  death  of 
the  two  rivals  in  1778.  His  famous  theory  of  politics, 
drawn  from  the  anarchical  hypotheses  of  long-forgotten 
authors  and  clothed  with  his  peculiar  sentiment  and 
incomparable  eloquence,  dominated  from  first  to  last 
the  leaders  of  the  Revolution  and  furnished  the  catch- 
words of  the  people.  '  Sans  Jean  Jacques  Rousseau 
il  iHy  aurait  pas  eu  de  Re"volutionl  said  Napoleon, 
and  he  added,  according  to  Mme  de  Stae'l,  'Je  ne 
le  regrette  pas,  car  fy  ai  rattrape"  le  trone  ! '  Mallet 
du  Pan,  who  saw  so  much  of  "  M.  de  Voltaire,"  never 
personally  knew  "  Jean  Jacques,"  but  he  divined  from 
the  first  the  ascendency  of  his  teachings  and  was  to 
learn  by  bitter  experience  the  hopelessness  of  combating 

1 1  have  printed  as  an  appendix  a  portion  of  a  remarkable  article 
written  by  Mallet  du  Pan  at  the  end  of  his  life  (Mercure  Britannique 
loth  March  1799),  on  the  influence  exercised  by  French  philosophers 
on  the  Revolution.  It  deals  specially  with  the  position  of  Voltaire 
and  Rousseau. 





MALLET'S  comments  in  the  Annales  on  the  War  of 
Independence  and  on  party  government  in  England 
will  serve  to  show  that  he  brought  to  the  consideration 
of  great  political  affairs  principles  imbibed  in  a  very 
different  atmosphere  from  that  of  Paris,  and  the  qualities 
not  too  commonly  combined  of  sound  judgment  and 
moral  enthusiasm.  In  all  he  wrote  for  the  information 
of  his  contemporaries  Mallet  du  Pan  endeavoured  to 
record  materials  for  history.  Fact  and  comment  alike 
are  now  as  hopelessly  buried  in  the  original  newspaper 
sheets  as  if  they  had  been  recorded  in  Chinese ;  but  a 
biographer  can  hardly  pass  over  in  silence  judgments 
on  passing  events  which  reveal  already  in  the  writer 
the  prescience  and  clear-sightedness  extolled  by  Sainte- 
Beuve,  the  political  capacity  signalised  by  Taine.  They 
reached  a  level  of  thought  and  expression  which  it 
would  be  hard  to  parallel  in  the  periodical  literature 
of  the  succeeding  century,  and  which  entitles  him  to 
the  position  accorded  to  him  by  the  learned  historian * 
of  the  French  press  as  the  first  of  the  race  of  true 

1  Eugene  Hatin,  Histoire  de  la  Presse  en  France,  vol.  Hi.,  p.  377, 
"Mallet  s'y  revele  comme  un  publiciste  distingue  :  nous  pourrions  dire 
que  c'est  le  premier  journaliste  que  nous  ayons  encore  rencontre*  ". 

GREAT  BRITAIN  IN  1781  29 

journalists,  a  position  which  he  was  soon  to  maintain 
in  the  capital  of  France. 

The  time  at  which  Mallet  du  Pan  succeeded  to 
the  sole  direction  of  Linguet's  Annales  Politiques,  the 
beginning  of  the  year  1781,  marked  the  lowest  point 
of  disaster  and  danger  to  which  England  had  fallen 
since  the  Treaty  of  Utrecht  in  1713  had  first  given 
her  a  position  of  supremacy  in  Europe.  Without  an 
ally  in  the  world,  she  was  in  arms  against  France, 
Spain  and  the  American  Colonies,  she  had  just  added 
Holland  to  the  list  of  her  enemies,  and  the  armed 
neutrality  of  the  North  had  been  formed  to  assert  the 
rights  of  neutrals  against  British  sea  power.  In  India 
Hyder  AH  had  descended  on  the  Carnatic  and  was 
threatening  Madras ;  Ireland  was  on  the  very  verge 
of  practical  independence,  and  the  Gordon  riots  had 
for  some  days  placed  London  at  the  mercy  of  the 
mob.  Worse  than  all,  the  Government  was  in  the 
hands  of  men  discredited  by  failures  and  distrusted  in 
the  country,  and  the  spirit  of  faction  was  carried  to 
a  point  which  alarmed  and  disgusted  the  friends  of 
England.1  The  coming  months  were  to  witness  the 
second  surrender  (October  1781)  of  a  British  army 
in  America,  that  of  Cornwallis  with  6,000  men  at 
Yorktown,  an  event  which  brought  the  war  in  that 
continent  to  a  standstill,  and  by  sealing  the  fate  of 
Lord  North's  Ministry  produced  the  kaleidoscopic 
changes  of  the  Rockingham,  Shelburne  and  Coalition 
Ministries,  ending  in  the  succession  to  power  in  1783 
of  the  younger  Pitt.  Early  in  1782  followed  the 

1 "  Vous  allez,"  wrote  Voltaire  to  Mallet  in  his  journey  to  England 
in  1777,  "dans  un  pays  devenu  presque  barbare  par  la  violence  des 


capture  by  the  French  fleet  of  all  the  rich  English 
islands  in  the  West  Indies  except  Jamaica,  Barbados 
and  Antigua,  and  the  recapture  by  Spain  of  Minorca, 
disasters  which  Rodney's  great  victory  over  De  Grasse 
in  April,  and  the  final  repulse  of  the  attack  on  Gibraltar 
in  September,  did  much  to  retrieve  without  affecting 
the  inevitable  result  of  the  war ;  and  the  negotiation 
of  the  treaties  of  peace  left  England  in  1783  shorn 
of  the  fairest  portion  of  her  Colonial  Empire,  and 
burdened  by  a  huge  increase  of  national  indebtedness. 
The  independence  of  America  thus  accomplished 
which  seemed  to  imply  the  fall  of  Greater  Britain, 
and  which  Seeley  describes  as  a  "  stupendous  event 
perhaps  greater  in  itself  than  the  French  Revolution  " 
so  soon  to  follow,  certainly  forms  a  theme  worthy  of  the 
ablest  and  best  equipped  of  contemporary  chroniclers. 
Before  following  him  in  some  comments  and  specu- 
lations on  this  event,  a  word  may  be  said  on  the 
general  attitude  of  the  writer  in  relation  to  the  play 
of  international  forces  and  rivalries.  The  late  Professor 
Seeley  made  perhaps  rather  too  much  of  his  supposed 
discovery  that  the  history  of  England  in  the  eighteenth 
century  lay  not  in  Europe,  but  in  Asia  and  America. 
The  author  of  the  Annales  was  a  citizen  of  a  small 
neutral  State,  his  intellect  was  of  the  practical  lucid 
order  characteristic  of  the  best  eighteenth  century 
thought,  and  his  natural  sympathies  and  tastes  turned 
rather  in  the  direction  of  efforts  after  freedom  of 
thought,  good  government  and  sensible  public  economy, 
than  in  that  of  the  internecine  struggles  for  Colonial 
Empire  and  commercial  monopolies  which  riveted  the 
attention  of  the  more  sentimental  Cambridge  historian. 
But  even  to  him  these  struggles  were  full  of  significance, 


and  if  we  may  judge  from  the  tone  of  the  Annales,  and 
even  from  the  relative  space  given  in  its  pages  to  the 
discussion  of  the  war  in  America  and  to  naval  and 
colonial  topics,  contemporary  writers  were  under  no 
such  illusion  as  that  which  Seeley  made  it  his  mission 
to  combat  in  his  interesting  little  volume  on  the  Ex- 
pansion of  England. 

The  first  number  edited  by  Mallet  du  Pan  contains 
a  study  on  war  in  general,  and  on  the  condition  of 
Europe  as  the  result  of  the  particular  war  in  which 
the  world  was  at  that  moment  plunged,  which  would 
have  delighted  the  heart  of  Cobden,  but  which,  though 
perhaps  somewhat  academic  in  tone,  displays  an  elo- 
quence, a  philosophic  insight,  and  a  knowledge  of 
foreign  history  and  politics  quite  beyond  the  reach  of 
the  great  free-trade  statesman.  After  showing  that 
war  was  waged  among  modern  States  no  longer  with 
the  simply  avowed  objects  of  conquering,  pillaging 
and  enslaving  one  another,  but  in  order  to  preserve 
a  supposed  equilibrium  or  balance  of  power,  he  re- 
marks how  futile  these  attempts  necessarily  were,  and 
how  they  always  ended  in  the  transfer  of  prepon- 
derance, never  in  its  destruction.  Richelieu's  policy, 
for  instance,  had  resulted  in  the  ruin  of  Austria  to  the 
gain  of  France ;  and  while  Europe  remained  under 
arms  until  the  Treaty  of  Aix  la  Chapelle  in  pur- 
suit of  this  chimera,  Great  Britain,  '  hydre  ampkibie* 
destined  "  to  devour  the  frogs  who  implored  her 
assistance,"  had  appeared  on  the  scene  to  which  the 
"equilibrists"  had  summoned  her.  Mallet  traces  in  a 
careful  summary  the  growth  of  her  maritime  power, 
from  its  rise  under  Cromwell  to  its  overwhelming 
ascendency  under  Chatham.  '  Voila  F  Edifice  ?  he 


exclaimed,  '  e"lev£  par  les  criailleries,  le  sang  et  les 
dfyenses  de  la  Hollande  et  de  rAutriche,  voila  I'espece 
d'e'quilibre  auquel  leurs  tours  deforce  ^taient  parvenus  •' ' 
Very  striking  is  the  denunciation  which  follows  of 
the  two-headed  monster  produced  by  the  unnatural 
union  of  war  and  commerce,  which  owed  its  origin  to 
the  ocean  power  of  England  and  Holland,  and  to  the 
establishment  of  their  colonies.  Holland  had  tyran- 
nised over  the  sea  in  order  to  become  the  entrepot 
for  every  sort  of  merchandise  ;  England,  the  first  to 
escape  from  this  tyranny  by  the  help  of  Cromwell's 
Navigation  Act,  substituted  for  it  another,  with  the 
object  of  forcing  upon  the  two  worlds  her  manu- 
factures and  the  produce  of  her  colonies.1 

"  The  monopoly,"  wrote  Mallet,  "  with  which 
Europe  oppressed  her  colonies  is  a  despotism  of  shop- 
keepers of  which  every  enlightened  nation  ought  to  be 
ashamed.  To  found  an  Empire  and  to  base  the  pros- 
perity of  a  country  and  its  commerce  upon  the  success 
of  such  a  despotism,  maintained  by  armaments,  fleets 
and  codes,  is  the  most  inconceivable  project  which 
avarice  has  ever  suggested  to  ambition. ": 

But  true  as  it  was  that  commerce  had  become  a 
primary  cause  of  strife  among  nations,  a  phenomenon 
which  seems  likely  to  recur  in  the  twentieth  century,  it 
was  equally  true  that  force  was  in  the  long  run  power- 
less to  counteract  the  permanent  influence  of  national 
advantages,  geographical  situation  and  industrial  activ- 
ity. The  general  indignation  against  the  "  vampire " 
powers  of  England  and  Holland,  '  ces  dispensateurs 
ambulants  du  commerce,  approvisionneurs  altiers  de 

lAnnates,  iii.,  486.  2  Ibid.,  i.,  107. 


I' Univers,  had  already  without  wars  or  diplomatic 
intrigue  begun  to  work  a  cure,  and  the  irresistible 
processes  of  competition  were  reducing  the  masters 
of  commerce  to  the  position  of  simple  rivals  in  the 
Baltic  and  the  Mediterranean.  Mallet  du  Pan  was  in 
fact  an  economist,  not  indeed  of  the  fashionable  school 
which  monopolised  that  designation  and  which  he  de- 
molished in  more  than  one  of  his  articles,  but  of  the 
school  of  Adam  Smith,  just  about  to  make  its  first  great 
proselyte  among  statesmen  in  the  younger  Pitt.  Neces- 
sarily therefore  he  realised  the  essential  want  of  reason 
in  the  existing  colonial  and  commercial  systems  and 
reprobated  the  ruinous  struggles  which  for  sixty  years 
had  held  Europe  embroiled  ;  and  his  remarks  help  us 
to  realise  how  largely  jealousy  of  England's  success  in 
the  attempt  to  monopolise  trade,  the  idea  that  she 
was  a  "leech  gorging  herself  with  their  life  blood," 
animated  the  coalition  which  was  on  the  point  of  gain- 
ing a  victory  more  nominal  than  real  over  their  proud 

But  Mallet  du  Pan  did  not  allow  himself  to  be 
engrossed  by  academic  speculation,  and  we  may  now 
follow  his  description  of  the  actual  situation  of  the 
various  combatants.  Of  Holland,  '  morceau  de  boue 
enlevt  a  PEspagne  et  a  fOc^an,'  we  need  in  this  place 
only  quote  his  remark  that,  having  for  eighty  years 
limited  her  ambition  to  becoming  the  first  purveyor  of 
groceries  in  the  universe  and  to  amassing  gold,  the 
Republic  with  all  her  wealth  was  now  nothing  but  a 
political  skeleton.  Spain,  '  ombre  illustre  qui  se  promene 
sur  ses  vastes  domaines  sans  que  les  mouvements  de  ce 
spectre  aient  pu  masquer  son  inanite"!  was  content  to 
build  fleets  but  afraid  to  use  them  except  in  sumptuous 



promenades,  and  had  wasted  sums  which  might  have 
materially  assisted  the  American  insurgents  in  a  futile 
cannonade  against  Gibraltar.  The  future  of  the 
American  Colonies  is  thus  (before  the  surrender  of 
Yorktown)  summed  up  by  our  writer  :— 

"Independent  or  not  the  United  States  will  emerge 
from  this  disastrous  war  with  the  hope  of  profit  from 
it.  Their  commerce  will  be  free,  sooner  or  later  it 
will  embrace  the  fisheries  of  all  their  shores  and  of 
the  new  world  and  the  trade  in  furs,  it  will  reach  to 
the  Antilles,  to  the  Spanish  possessions,  and  even  to 
the  East  Indies ;  a  line  of  communication  will  be 
theirs  which  no  European  fleet  will  be  able  to  cut. 
Nature  which  has  placed  the  insurgent  States  in  the 
midst  of  the  Atlantic  has  so  ordered  it ;  and  the 
moment  has  arrived  when  our  continent  will  be  forced 
to  admit  it." 

The  moment  when  America  was  to  come  into  full 
enjoyment  of  her  natural  advantages  has  been  delayed 
to  our  own  day,  but  the  passage  is  none  the  less 
remarkable  as  a  forecast  written  at  a  time  when 
Europe  still  believed  in  the  efficacy  of  force,  of  tariffs 
and  of  restriction  to  control  the  course  of  economic 

Of  equal  interest  is  the  analysis  of  the  situation  of 
the  two  great  protagonists,  France  and  England  ;  of  the 
sources  of  their  power,  and  of  the  destinies  which  their 
history  and  their  circumstances  seemed  to  impose  upon 
them.  France  had  experienced  something  like  a  re- 
surrection during  the  last  six  years.  Under  a  king, 
for  so  he  described  Louis  XVI.,  who  had  shown  no- 
thing but  virtuous  and  benevolent  intentions,  and  who 
in  the  course  of  seven  years  had  chosen  more  upright 
ministers  than  a  whole  reign  often  supplies,  she  had 


recreated  a  navy 1  and  her  policy,  ably  directed,  had 
decided  the  success  of  the  insurgent  colonies  and  had 
seemingly  dealt  a  fatal  blow  at  the  commercial  monopoly 
of  her  rival.  The  resources  of  the  country  were  im- 
mense, her  natural  wealth,  the  industry  of  her  inhabi- 
tants, and  the  taste  displayed  in  her  varied  manufactures, 
gave  her  a  natural  monopoly  which  made  it  unneces- 
sary to  seek  external  commerce  by  arms  and  maritime 
conquests.  The  power  of  her  administration  and  her 
naval  force  would  find  sufficient  employment  in  main- 
taining the  water  ways  and  safeguarding  the  ports,  and 
in  creating  a  wise  proportion  between  the  arts  and 

In  many  noble  passages  Mallet  du  Pan  extols  the 
courage,  energy  and  strength  of  her  great  rival  :— 

"  History  affords  no  previous  example  of  a  nation 
of  ten  million  souls,  attacked  in  the  four  quarters  of  the 
world  by  a  formidable  league,  resolute  to  withstand  the 
attack,  and  allowing  neither  defeat  nor  waste,  neither 
the  want  of  men  nor  the  burden  of  subsidies  and 
loans,  to  shake  her  constancy.  .  .  .  The  inexhaustible 
resources  of  her  navy  and  her  discipline,  the  activity 
of  her  dockyards,  the  energy  of  her  traders,  the  cool 
intrepidity  which  grew  with  danger,  and  her  command 
of  funds,  might  be  enfeebled  but  could  not  be  de- 

The  effort,  indeed,  to  maintain  her  dangerous  pro- 
sperity had  proved  too  great,  and  the  pyramid  balanced 
on  its  apex  had  crumbled  beneath  the  weight.  But 
writing  after  the  final  success  of  the  magnificent  de- 
fence of  Gibraltar  he  says  : — 

1  He  remarks,  however,  on  the  insubordination  which  char- 
acterised the  French  navy,  under  De  Grasse  for  instance,  as  con- 
trasted with  the  discipline  of  an  English  fleet  (Annales,  v.,  p.  438). 


"  England  by  the  energy  of  her  resistance  in  the 
midst  of  her  foes  has  gained  a  greatness  and  a  renown 
more  admirable  than  any  she  possessed  at  the  height 
of  her  fortunes  in  1763.  .  .  .  After  having  seen  her 
arms  tarnished,  her  fleets  everywhere  outnumbered, 
her  territory  threatened  on  all  sides  and  her  exertions 
counteracted  by  intestine  strife,  Great  Britain  now 
finds  herself  mistress  of  the  sea  in  the  West  Indies, 
in  America,  and  in  the  Channel ;  so  far  from  having 
lost  her  Indian  conquests  she  has  added  to  them ; 
her  flag  protects  a  commerce  extending  from  pole  to 
pole,  and  floats  without  a  stain  in  spite  of  the  efforts 
of  three  combined  Powers  to  lower  its  glory." 

But  all  this  time  Mallet  du  Pan  distrusted  the 
power  of  the  country  to  escape  the  consequences  of 
the  policy  of  expansion  which  her  position  forced  upon 
her.  Without  the  "  possession  of  Neptune's  trident  to 
enable  her  to  summon  fleets  from  the  ocean  at  her 
will,"  how  could  she  protect  with  the  wings  of  her 
400  vessels  the  immense  extent  of  her  dominions  ? l 
The  war  itself  had  shown  the  "  vice  of  this  universal 
empire,  and  will  impugn  to  the  remotest  posterity  the 
wisdom  of  Lord  Chatham's  policy ".  After  conquests 
comes  the  necessity  of  defending  them,  and  that  "  ne- 
cessity and  these  conquests  are  at  this  moment  the 
greatest  enemies  of  England;  son  premier  malkeur  est 
sa  puissance  ". 

The  pose  of  a  prophet  is  the  last  which  Mallet  du 
Pan's  modesty  and  vigorous  common  sense  would  have 
allowed  him  to  adopt,  and  on  so  large  a  subject  as  the 
possible  future  of  two  great  nations  he  could  do  no 
more  than  point  out  the  tendencies  which  were  likely 

1  Annales,  iii.,  80. 


to  mould  their  course.  But  if  the  above  extracts  give 
at  all  a  fair  idea  of  his  speculations,  he  seems  to  have 
taken  a  more  favourable  view  of  the  immediate  prospects 
of  France  as  compared  with  England  than  circumstances 
were  to  justify.  He  seems  to  have  thought  that  France, 
self-contained,  industrious,  and  with  all  the  potentiality 
of  great  natural  wealth,  was  at  least  as  likely  as  Eng- 
land, depending  rather  on  the  adventurous  disposition 
of  her  inhabitants,  and  bound  to  pursue  the  perilous 
paths  of  colonial  and  commercial  extension  and  naval 
supremacy,  to  hold  the  leading  place  in  the  coming 
years.  Few  could  have  foretold,  and  Mallet  du  Pan 
certainly  did  not,  the  immense  industrial  develop- 
ment of  Great  Britain  which  inventive  genius  was  to 
awaken,  and  a  wise  commercial  policy  to  foster,  in 
the  coming  century.  Nor  could  the  success  of  the 
great  Indian  experiment  have  been  anticipated  with 
any  certainty.  Mallet  du  Pan  had  written  indeed  (in 
April  1782)  as  follows: — 

"  The  foot  with  which  England  trod  the  Atlantic 
she  will  now  plant  upon  India.  She  will  look  for  re- 
sources, for  victories,  and  for  consolations,  to  that  im- 
mense domain  which  has  been  purchased  with  blood 
and  treachery  and  despoiled  by  the  ravages  of  un- 
bridled human  nature,  and  Holland  may  well  groan 
under  the  ambition  which  the  loss  of  her  colonies  will 
impel  England  to  satisfy  elsewhere." 

A  little  later  (Dec.  1782)  we  find  him  asking  what 
will  become  of  England  in  the  East  Indies,  and  return- 
ing a  more  doubtful  answer  after  a  rapid  sketch  of  the 
achievements  and  the  dangers  of  the  handful  of  British 
merchant  conquerors.  But  it  is  interesting  to  note  that 
at  least  he  anticipates  from  the  efforts  of  Parliament  the 


extirpation  of  the  worst  abuses  of  Indian  administration, 
and  pronounces  that  if  the  future  can  ameliorate  the  lot 
of  the  natives  "  so  long  oppressed  by  our  avarice  and 
our  disputes,  we  shall  bless  the  English  as  liberators  ". 

But  whether  or  no  he  fully  realised  the  part  which 
such  factors  as  these  were  to  play  in  the  growth  of 
England,  and  whether,  horrified  by  the  apparent  de- 
moralisation of  her  parliamentary  system,  he  did  not 
underrate  the  strength  of  the  political  constitution  of  the 
country,  are  questions  of  comparatively  little  moment. 
The  event  which  was  really  to  determine  for  a 
century  to  come  the  relative  positions  of  the  two 
countries  as  world  powers  lay  still  in  the  womb  of 
the  future,  undiscernible,  at  all  events  in  its  conse- 
quences on  the  political  system  of  Europe,  to  observers 
however  keen-sighted.  France  was  even  now  hasten- 
ing with  giant  strides  to  revolution,  and  if  we  find  no 
distinct  premonition  in  Mallet  du  Pan's  pages  at  this 
moment  of  the  impending  break  up  of  the  French 
monarchy,  we  must  remember  that  he  had  not  yet 
taken  up  his  residence  in  Paris,  and  that  while  fully 
alive  to  the  extravagance  and  vicious  inequality  of  the 
financial  system  of  the  country,  he  was  no  doubt  tem- 
porarily deceived l  by  the  brilliant  revival  of  vigour  and 

luQui  aurait  predit,"  he  wrote  in  September  1791  (Mercure  de 
France),  "que  la  France  triomphante,  riche,  et  considered  en  1 782  serait 
reMuite  en  1791  a  subsister  de  vieux  cuivre,  de  debris  de  cloches,  et  de 
papier-monnaie  perdant  15  pour  cent  dans  la  Capitale  meme?  Que 
ses  changes  tomberaient  de  25  pour  cent  .  .  .  que  ses  fabriques  ne 
se  soutiendraient  plus  que  par  le  discredit  des  valeurs  id&iles  repre- 
sentatives du  numeraire,  que  sa  dette  serait  accrue  de  deux  milliards 
en  deux  ans  .  .  .  que  ses  escadres  resteraient  inactives  par  la  licence 
de  ses  matelots,  que  les  degouts,  la  tyrannic,  et  rimpossibilite  de 
servir  honorablement  l'£tat,  la  priveraient  de  tout  ce  qu'elle  comptait 


ability  which  had  distinguished  the  last  few  years  of 
the  royal  administration.  It  is  indeed  difficult  to  over- 
estimate the  importance  of  the  French  Revolution  in 
its  influence  on  the  development  of  Great  Britain.  It 
removed  from  her  path  at  the  most  critical  moment  of 
her  advance  the  only  power  which  was  in  a  position  to 
dispute  her  supremacy.  It  left  her  without  a  rival  at 
sea,  the  one  factor  essential  to  her  success  and  to  the 
consolidation  of  her  conquests  in  India,  and  it  gave  her 
a  monopoly,  owing  not  so  much  to  the  employment 
of  the  artificial  restrictive  measures  which  Mallet  du 
Pan  had  so  vigorously  condemned  as  to  the  literal 
absence  from  various  causes  of  effective  competition, 
in  sea-borne  commerce,  in  the  carrying  trade  and 
in  industrial  production ;  a  monopoly  which  she  held 
till  within  the  last  twenty  years.  Truly  did  Burke  say 
of  the  French,  "they  have  done  their  business  for  us  as 
rivals  in  a  way  which  twenty  Ramillies  or  Blenheims 
could  never  have  done  ". 

Whether  a  period  in  the  history  of  the  two  nations 
may  not  now  have  been  reached  in  which  their 
strength  is  not  once  again  more  equally  balanced, 
and  whether  Mallet  du  Pan's  analysis  of  the  respective 
advantages  and  dangers  of  France  and  England  does  not 
in  a  certain  degree  hold  good  at  the  present  moment, 
is  a  tempting  subject  for  speculation  which  can  hardly 
be  touched  upon.  On  the  one  hand  there  is  France, 
still,  in  spite  of  deep  social  divisions,  one  of  the  leading 
States  in  the  world,  with  all  her  old  natural  superiority 
of  territory  and  climate,  with  a  population  unrivalled 

de  generaux  experimentes,  et  que  ses  Ambassadeurs  ne  seraient  plus 
en  Europe  que  les  te'moins  de  la  nullite  de  leur  Patrie?  Quelle 
Ie9on  pour  la  politique  speculative  !  O  vanite  des  raisonnements  !  " 


for  industry,  economy  and  taste,  with  increasingly 
prosperous  industries  due  to  these  qualities,  with  a 
navy  second  only  to  our  own  backed  by  a  formidable 
military  organisation,  with  her  most  important  colonial 
dependencies,  those  in  Northern  Africa,  placed  at  her 
very  doors,  above  all  with  a  form  of  government  prob- 
ably well  suited  to  her  genius,  and  to  a  large  extent 
wisely  inspired  by  the  spirit  which  Mallet  du  Pan  desid- 
erated for  her.  On  the  other  hand  there  is  England, 
her  special  fields  of  supremacy  in  industrial  production 
and  in  the  carrying  trade  invaded  by  at  least  two 
great  rivals  with  one  of  whom  all  competition  is  out 
of  the  question,  and  steadily  impelled  along  the  same 
path  of  colonial  and  commercial  expansion  dependent 
on  naval  force  and  ascendency  which  seemed  to  have 
brought  her  to  something  like  ruin  at  the  close  of  the 
War  of  Independence.  Is  there  any  truth  in  Mallet's 
paradox  that  her  misfortune  lies  in  the  very  power  and 
preponderance  which  condemn  her  "  to  go  everywhere, 
to  fight  everywhere,  to  dissipate  forces  which  would 
be  invincible  if  they  were  concentrated,  to  depopulate 
her  fields,  her  ports  and  her  factories,  and  to  support 
in  the  midst  of  opulence  a  debt  of  which  no  one  can 
foresee  the  limits  "  ?  One  thing  at  least  is  certain,  that 
in  any  fresh  crisis  of  her  fortunes  Great  Britain  is  not 
likely  to  be  assisted  by  any  such  cataclysmal  event 
as  the  French  Revolution,  that  her  path  will  not  be 
smoothed  by  the  weakness  of  her  rivals,  and  that  she 
will  be  indebted  alone  for  safety  to  the  energy  of  her 
national  character  and  institutions,  to  the  loyalty  of  her 
dependencies,  and  to  the  wisdom  of  her  statesmanship. 
The  question  suggested  may  perhaps  be  answered  by 
another,  Is  there  any  real  analogy  between  her  present 


situation  and  that  of  Holland  in  the  eighteenth  century  ? 
Mallet  du  Pan  is  never  tired  of  contrasting  the  energy 
and  courage  of  England  with  the  '  affaissement  absolu ' 
into  which  Holland  had  sunk,  and  the  reasons  he  gives 
for  the  "inconceivable  pusillanimity"  of  her  conduct  are, 
in  the  first  place,  that  the  commercial  spirit  had  proved 
incompatible  with  patriotism,  that  the  habits  and  tastes 
of  the  counting-house  had  debased  national  character 
and  destroyed  public  spirit ;  and  in  the  second  place, 
(and  this  was  the  principal  cause)  that  the  spirit  of  faction 
had  paralysed  her  councils.  The  ancient  wisdom  of 
the  Republic  had  expired  in  the  attempt  to  preserve  a 
balance  between  the  rival  powers  of  the  constitution, 
and  foreign  policy  was  perpetually  sacrificed  to  the  views 
of  the  warring  cabals  of  the  Stadholderate,  the  Magis- 
tracy, and  the  Regencies  of  Amsterdam  and  the  other 
provinces.  Might  he  not  have  added  another  possible 
cause  of  discouragement  in  the  evident  hopelessness 
of  striving  to  preserve  a  colonial  monopoly  against 
antagonists  so  overwhelmingly  superior  in  strength  ? 
Whatever  sources  of  weakness  may  exist  in  the  England 
of  to-day,  there  are  at  all  events  two  very  marked  points 
of  distinction.  British  commercial  and  colonial  supre- 
macy has  not  been  a  tyranny,  but  a  source  of  material 
prosperity  which  she  has  fully  shared  with  all  her  com- 
petitors. The  fall  of  the  system  therefore  would  inflict  as 
great  a  loss  upon  them  as  upon  herself,  and  they  have 
the  strongest  reasons  for  desiring  the  maintenance  of 
the  only  great  open  market  in  existence.  The  British 
Empire  does  not,  or  rather  need  not,  excite  that  deadly 
jealousy  of  the  rest  of  the  world  which  was  one  of  the 
causes  of  Holland's  ruin,  and  any  attempt  on  the  part 
of  rival  powers  to  acquire  British  possessions  for  their 


own  exclusive  exploitation  must  necessarily  divide  the 
enemies  of  England  instead  of  uniting  them  against 
her.  And  further,  the  man  who  leads  the  country  in 
an  hour  of  need  will  have  ready  to  his  hand,  instead 
of  warring  constitutional  elements,  the  most  supple  and 
powerful  instrument  of  rule  which  democracy  has  yet 
evolved.  With  all  qualifications,  however,  the  problem 
confronting  Great  Britain  in  the  twentieth  century  is 
perhaps  not  wholly  unlike  that  which  Holland  failed  to 
solve  in  the  eighteenth,  that  of  combining  commercial 
democracy  with  empire,  a  problem  of  which  Mallet 
du  Pan  had  in  1780  discerned  some  of  the  essential 

We  have  noticed  the  admiration  extorted  from 
Mallet  du  Pan  by  the  heroic  energy  and  perseverance 
of  the  King  and  his  ministers,  supported  year  after  year 
by  Parliament  and  the  country,  in  a  cause  with  which 
he  must  have  had  but  little  sympathy.  He  had  divined 
the  reasons  which  in  spite  of  defeats  and  growing  finan- 
cial embarrassment  made  the  position  of  Great  Britain 
in  reality  far  less  critical  than  it  seemed.  He  put  his 
finger  on  the  essential  fact  of  the  situation  when  he 
pointed  out  the  successful  guardianship  by  the  British 
squadrons  of  the  return  of  the  rich  cargoes  of  the  Baltic, 
the  Hudson,  the  sugar  islands  and  the  East  Indies  to 
the  seaports  of  the  United  Kingdom,  there  to  swell 
private  fortunes  and  to  pour  fresh  resources  into  the 
depleted  coffers  of  the  State.  As  long  as  this  circula- 
tion of  wealth  lasted  he  saw  that  England  would  main- 
tain her  existence  and  her  activity  ;  and  he  ridiculed 
accordingly  the  "innocent  babble"  of  the  coffee  houses 
which  had  already  annihilated  her  in  anticipation.  We 
have  now  to  describe  his  undisguised  concern  at  the 

END  OF  THE  WAR  43 

collapse  of  her  resistance.  Whatever  doubt  may  have 
existed  whether  she  might  not,  especially  after  Rodney's 
great  victory  and  the  relief  of  Gibraltar,  have  brought 
the  struggle  to  a  more  favourable  conclusion  and  even 
have  preserved  a  nominal  connection  with  her  exhausted 
and  distracted  colonies,  was  set  at  rest  by  the  attitude 
of  the  Opposition  just  about  to  be  transformed  into  a 
Government,  by  the  working  of  the  party  system  and 
the  play  of  faction  in  Parliament.  This  aspect  of  the 
question  now  fascinated  the  attention  of  Mallet  du  Pan, 
who,  during  the  whole  period,  followed  in  detail  the 
action  and  speeches  of  the  party  leaders  in  England 
with  the  object  of  setting  before  his  readers  a  picture 
of  the  spirit,  the  eloquence,  and  the  divisions  of  the 
British  Parliament.1  Liberal  and  republican  as  he  was, 
it  is  impossible  that  a  reader  of  these  pages  should  not 
be  struck  by  the  essentially  order-loving  and  conserva- 
tive bent  of  his  mind  even  at  this  early  period.  Long 
before  the  French  Revolution  was  to  make  him  famous 
as  the  pitiless  analyst  and  critic  of  the  Jacobin  spirit, 
the  unwearying  opponent  of  revolutionary  methods,  he 
had  learnt  to  distrust  the  incendiary  teachings  of  the 
fashionable  phrasiers  of  the  day  by  watching  their 
effect  in  those  homes  of  ancient  freedom,  the  Genevese 
and  Dutch  Republics.  We  have  noted  his  attitude 

1  He  commented  on  the  extreme  difficulty  for  a  foreigner  of  fol- 
lowing events  in  England,  on  the  uncommunicativeness  of  the  English 
and  their  proud  contempt  for  foreign  chroniclers,  and  on  the  hap- 
hazard character  of  their  newspapers.  Only  an  Englishman  in  the 
confidence  of  ministers  and  departments,  and  conversant  with  English 
commerce,  law  and  finance  could  properly  engage  in  the  task  of 
recounting  the  course  of  events,  and  such  an  Englishman  would 
better  employ  his  time.  In  these  circumstances  Mallet  du  Pan's 
penetration  and  accuracy  are  the  more  noteworthy. 


with  regard  to  French  political  and  religious  thought, 
and  we  shall  have  occasion  to  refer  to  his  part  in  the 
revolutions  of  his  native  State  ;  he  saw  how  the  cries 
and  catchwords  of  "  humanity,  liberty,  despotism," 
were  inflaming  the  "patriotic"  party  in  Holland,  who 
were  already  burning  to  immolate  on  the  altar  of  their 
country  "oppressive"  institutions  and  officers  of  state. 
He  had  commented  on  the  loquacity  which  had  ac- 
companied the  American  Revolution,  on  the  habit  of 
"perorating  and  dissertating"  which  had  characterised 
the  founders  and  orators  of  the  new  Republic. 

"  One  might  fancy  oneself,"  he  said,  "listening  to 
language  natural  enough  in  gangrened  Republics  like 
Holland  and  Geneva,  ready  to  crumble  into  dust,  where 
the  resource  of  perversity  is  to  counterfeit  virtue  :  but  in 
America  at  the  dawn  of  a  new  State,  in  the  first  term  of 
its  existence  !  Illustrious  eighteenth  century,  thy  motto 
has  been  traced  by  Sallust  in  the  portrait  of  Catiline, 
satis  sapienticz  parum  I  " 

Little  wonder  if,  with  such  sentiments  as  these,  he 
perused  the  debates  preceding  and  following  the  fall 
of  Lord  North  with  growing  horror  and  disgust  at  the 
unpatriotic  and  indecent  violence  of  the  Whig  factions, 
an  attitude  which,  reproduced  in  the  French  revolu- 
tionary war,  was  to  cost  them  forty  years  of  power  ;  or 
that,  "  anti-imperialist  "  as  he  was,  and  opposed  as  we 
have  seen  him  to  be  to  the  commercial  and  political 
ideas  which  inspired  the  war,  he  writes  with  far  more 
sympathy  of  the  fallen  Ministry  than  of  their  opponents. 
We  may  pass  over  the  epitome  of  the  history  of  Eng- 
lish party  government  in  which  Mallet  du  Pan  traces 
the  steps  by  which  it  had  degenerated  into  a  shame- 
lessly corrupt  struggle  for  place  and  power,  for  it  is  a 


commonplace  that  the  latter  half  of  the  eighteenth 
century  witnessed  the  lowest  point  of  degradation  which 
party  politics  have  touched  in  England.  The  successors 
of  the  old  Whigs,  "  defenders  of  disputed  rights,  warding 
off  oppression  with  one  hand,  with  the  other  building 
up  the  ramparts  of  public  freedom,"  had  changed  their 
character  as  the  constitution  had  taken  shape.  Having 
no  longer  natural  rights  to  assert,  they  were  now,  in 
Opposition,  a  mere  hors  cFceuvre  of  the  constitution, 
whose  occupation  it  was  to  harangue  against  the  conduct 
and  opinions  of  ministers  in  order  to  advertise  them- 
selves, and  to  oppose  them,  not  because  they  were  wrong, 
but  because  they  were  in  power.  Convinced  of  the 
determination  of  the  king  to  stand  by  his  advisers,  the 
Opposition  had  latterly  thrown  restraint  to  the  winds. 
"  They  exist  only  upon  public  disasters,  each  of  which 
galvanises  them  into  a  momentary  activity."  The 
calmness,  however,  with  which  these  violent  diatribes 
were  received  by  the  public  may  have  inspired  the 
reflection  that  the  spirit  of  faction  is  much  more  disas- 
trous in  a  small  state  or  city  like  Geneva,  where  the 
issues  become  of  passionate  interest  to  the  whole  popu- 
lation, than  in  a  great  city  like  London,  where  the  mass 
of  the  inhabitants  frequently  remain  totally  indifferent 
to  the  parliamentary  uproar  of  the  Whigs  and  Tories, 
and  the  huge  machine  moves  on  undisturbed  by  the 
friction  of  the  party  wheels.  Still  he  speaks  with 
constant  alarm  of  the  "  dangerous  fury  "  of  party  spirit 
in  England,  and  it  is  of  interest  to  be  reminded  of  the 
undoubted  influence  which  its  manifestation  in  this  case 
exerted  on  the  fortunes  of  the  country.  For  there  can  be 
little  question  that  it  was  the  attitude  of  the  Opposition 
which  was  the  immediate  cause  of  the  precipitate  and 


undignified,  if  necessary,  surrender  to  the  Colonies  and 
the  coalition.1 

There  are  few  more  interesting  questions  of  par- 
liamentary ethics  than  the  proper  attitude  of  an  Oppo- 
sition during  a  war  of  which  they  either  disapprove  on 
principle  or  are  obliged  by  their  situation  to  criticise. 
The  problem  which  a  public  man  has  to  solve  as  to 
when  it  is  his  duty  to  express  his  opinions  and  when 
to  be  silent,  is  one  which  will  largely  depend  on  the 
circumstances  of  the  moment  and  on  the  prevailing 
standard  of  public  morality  and  national  feeling.  In 

1  The  purely  military  aspect  of  the  struggle  is  of  great  interest, 
especially  in  view  of  the  recent  successful  conclusion  of  a  war  of 
somewhat  similar  character  in  South  Africa.  The  following  descrip- 
tion of  it  by  Mallet  in  1780  brings  out  some  points  of  resemblance. 
The  chief  points  of  difference  are  of  course  the  absence  of  general- 
ship on  the  British  side  in  the  American  war,  the  far  greater  difficul- 
ties of  communication,  and  above  all  the  fact  of  foreign  intervention 
by  land  and  sea. 

On  y  aperc,oit  deux  points  lumineux  .  .  .  les  Anglais  s'epar- 
pillant  sur  ce  Continent,  faisant  des  invasions  plus  que  des  conquetes, 
courant  de  ville  en  ville,  de  province  en  province,  chassant  des  milices 
devant  eux,  exigeant  des  serments,  devastant  des  chantiers  et  des 
magasins,  envahissant  des  districts  et  finissant  par  les  abandonner,  en 
un  mot  rempbrtant  presque  toujours  1'avantage,  et  hors  d'e"tat  de  le 
poursuivre.  Les  insurgents  emprisonnes  au  Nord  sous  leurs  drapeaux 
faisant  au  Midi  une  guerre  de  partis  balanced,  se  ralliant  avec  autant 
de  facilit^  qu'on  les  disperse,  et  plus  adroits  a  cruder  des  deTaites  que 
courageux  a  remporter  des  succes,  mais  tandis  que  leurs  pelotons 
voltigeants  coupent  ou  retardent  les  pas  de  leurs  ennemis,  1'epuise- 
ment  est  dans  le  cceur,  et  s'ils  restent  maitres  a  la  fin  on  verra  se 
rdaliser  1'exemple  inoui  d'une  R^publique  fondle  avec  des  dettes,  sans 
numeraire  pour  les  acquitter,  avec  des  paysans  mous  .  .  .  des  soldats 
sans  pain  et  sans  souliers,  des  matelots  sans  navires,  des  chefs  sans 
union,  un  gouvernement  sans  consistance,  des  mceurs  altere'es,  etc. 
(Annates,  i.,  pp.  114,  115). 


the  eighteenth  century  the  standard  in  these  respects 
was  such  as  to  allow  of  conduct  which  we  may  safely 
assume  would  not  be  possible  in  similar  circumstances 
at  the  present  time.  The  following  is  Mallet  du  Pan's 
conception  of  what  the  behaviour  of  the  Opposition 
should  have  been,  contrasted  with  what  it  was  :— 

"  Expelled  from  office,  the  same  men  who  had  co- 
operated in  the  bills  for  the  taxation  of  America  became 
the  most  active  advocates  of  their  abandonment.  When 
Parliament  refused  to  retrace  its  steps,  they  anathema- 
tised the  war  which,  once  it  had  been  solemnly  approved 
by  the  sovereign,  each  of  its  members  should  have 
accepted  in  silence.  If  the  Opposition  leaders  had  been 
worthy  of  the  name  of  patriot — so  universally  and  so 
vainly  prostituted — after  having  defended  at  Westminster 
the  cause  of  America,  they  should,  the  moment  that  cause 
had  become  a  hostile  one,  have  devoted  themselves  to  the 
cause  of  England.  Far  from  showing  any  such  heroic 
docility,  nothing  came  from  their  lips  but  the  violence  of 
revolt.  They  applied  themselves,  with  all  the  zeal,  per- 
severance and  activity  which  the  country  expected  in 
vain  to  be  employed  in  obedience  to  the  wishes  of  the 
sovereign,  to  the  task  of  denouncing  the  forces  under 
arms  and  of  obstructing  their  success,  of  discouraging 
public  spirit,  of  fanning  the  excitement  of  the  insurgents, 
and  stimulating  their  courage  by  revealing  to  them  the 
existence  in  the  metropolis  of  a  party  ready  to  support 
them,  in  a  word  to  rendering  their  unnatural  strife  as 
disastrous  as  it  has  proved  to  be.  Determined  champions 
of  the  colonists  and  more  ardently  desirous  of  their  en- 
franchisement than  Congress  itself,  they  recognised  and 
preached  independence  before  the  United  States  had 
thought  of  it  themselves,  and  they  have  loaded  ministers 
with  contumely  for  disasters  of  which  they  themselves 
were  the  real  authors." 

Of  the   effect  of  this   conduct   on   public   opinion 


abroad  Mallet  du  Pan  was  a  competent  witness,  and 
he  speaks  in  the  strongest  terms  of  the  influence  of  the 
Opposition  harangues  upon  their  dupes  on  the  Con- 
tinent, who  greedily  devoured  these  satires  and 
calumnies.  A  continental  journalist,  he  remarks,  paid 
to  scrape  together  defamatory  intelligence,  would  take 
a  fortnight  to  elaborate  against  the  British  Govern- 
ment the  charges  with  which  a  single  oration  by  Mr. 
Fox  would  furnish  him. 

Of  that  statesman,  indeed,  with  his  '  Eloquence  fou- 
gueuse  et  atrabiliaire^  his  inflammable  imagination,  the 
flexibility  of  his  opinions  (a  trait  which  distinguished 
the  new  from  the  old  Whigs)  and  his  private  excesses. 
Mallet  du  Pan  did  not  disguise  his  distrust ;  and  he 
does  not  seem  to  have  been  much  more  favourably 
impressed  by  Burke's  "inconceivable  diatribes".  But 
he  pays  a  tribute  to  those  Whigs  who  had  abstained 
from  the  noisy  violence  of  the  more  prominent  party : 
to  the  lawyer-like  integrity  of  Camden ;  to  Conway, 
superior  to  all  mean  personal  motives ;  to  Lord  John 
Cavendish,  "  of  a  house  in  which  probity,  honour  and 
patriotism  are  hereditary  " ;  to  Keppel ;  to  Dunning  ;  and 
finally  to  Lord  Shelburne,  '  dleve,  emule,  copiste  meme, 
de  Lord  Chatham,  soldat  d  Alexandre  devenu  roi  apres 
sa  mort]  influential  from  his  talents,  his  connections, 
and  the  splendour  of  his  private  life  ;  the  tortuosities 
of  whose  political  course,  however,  Mallet  du  Pan  did 
not  endeavour  to  follow.  With  greater  warmth  he 
speaks  of  Lord  North,  on  whose  dignified  moderation 
during  the  months  following  his  disgrace  and  his 
magnanimity  in  coming  to  the  support  of  his  perplexed 
successors  he  comments  more  than  once,  without  per- 
haps comprehending,  until  North's  complaisance  led 


him  so  far  as  to  ally  himself  with  Fox,  the  part  which 
culpable  indolence  and  good  nature  played  in  his  polit- 
ical conduct. 

The  Annales  contain  some  interesting  comments 
on  the  inquiries  into  the  conduct  of  military  operations 
which,  constantly  proposed,  were  burked  as  far  as  pos- 
sible by  the  Government  and  used  by  the  Opposition 
to  extol  the  inculpated  commanders  at  the  expense  of 
a  blundering  Ministry,  and  he  contrasts  the  conduct 
of  the  Whigs  during  this  war  with  their  behaviour 
during  Lord  Chatham's  Administration,  when,  anxious 
to  sustain  the  credit  of  the  Government,  they  were 
untiring  in  support  of  Pitt's  severest  measures  against 
unfortunate  officers.1 

It  would  be  tedious  to  follow  in  detail  his  analysis 
of  the  debates  on  the  peace  negotiations  which  raged, 
as  he  says,  "with  tumults  worthy  of  an  assembly  of 
savages  "  during  the  installation  of  Rockingham's  Minis- 
try and  the  premiership  of  Lord  Shelburne.  His  general 
attitude  has  indeed  already  been  indicated.  He  was 
astonished  and  scandalised  at  the  revulsion  of  public 
opinion  which  overthrew  Lord  North  and  produced  in 
Parliament  a  positive  ''famine  de  la  paix]  an  indecent 
eagerness  to  surrender  all  that  the  country  had  fought 
for.  A  dignified  termination  indeed  was  perhaps  im- 

1  The  recall  of  Rodney  by  the  Rockingham  Government  after 
his  ever-memorable  defeat  of  De  Grasse  was  the  necessary  result  of 
the  attacks  which  the  Whigs  had  made  upon  him  when  in  Opposition, 
and  the  admiral  of  the  Tories  was  sacrificed  quite  as  much  to  party 
resentment  as  to  indignation  at  his  disgraceful  pillage  of  St.  Eustatius, 
an  event  which  our  author  stigmatises  as  it  deserves,  while  doing  full 
justice  to  the  admiral's  career  in  an  excellent  study  of  his  character 
and  his  exploits. 



possible,  and  the  circumstances  on  which  Mallet  du 
Pan  animadverted  with  a  pained  surprise  which  would 
have  sat  well  on  a  loyal  Englishman  were  perhaps  a 
blessing  in  disguise,  as  bringing  to  a  rapid  and  complete 
conclusion  the  most  ignominious  chapter  in  our  history. 
However  clearly  we  may  see  that  the  position  had 
become  untenable  and  that  a  nominal  connection  with 
ruined  and  exasperated  colonies  was  not  worth  the 
undoubted  risk  of  continuing  the  war,  we  may  yet 
sympathise  with  the  frame  of  mind  which  dictated 
the  following  words :  "  There  is  no  patriotic  man  to 
whom  the  abandonment  of  America  would  not  have 
appeared  a  calamity  only  inferior  to  the  continuation 
of  the  war,  a  calamity,  however,  which  was  susceptible 
of  alleviation  in  the  clauses  of  the  final  treaty.  It 
would  not  have  crossed  his  mind  to  desire  a  sacrifice 
as  complete  and  burdensome  as  possible,  or  to  reject  in 
advance  the  possibility  of  compensations," — the  course 
actually  taken  by  that  part  of  the  Opposition  which 
specially  piqued  itself  on  its  public  spirit. 

The  terms  of  peace  as  finally  settled  marked  what 
may  well  have  seemed  to  less  perspicacious  contempo- 
raries the  definitive  fall  of  the  country  from  the  splendid 
position  she  had  gained  by  the  treaty  of  1763.  The 
vindication  by  half  a  hemisphere  of  its  independence, 
as  Mallet  du  Pan  remarked  itself  one  of  the  greatest 
events  of  the  eighteenth  century,  stamped  this  treaty 
as  the  most  important  in  its  consequences  since  the  peace 
of  Westphalia,  which  had  consecrated  after  thirty  years 
of  warfare  the  destruction  of  the  political  system  of 
Charles  V.  But  apart  from  this,  the  material  results  of 
the  struggle  in  the  shape  of  British  cessions  to  Spain 
and  France  were  singularly  meagre  when  weighed 


against  the  vast  financial  sacrifices  which  it  had  entailed 
upon  all  parties.1  Most  wars,  however,  as  he  remarked, 
gave  rise  to  a  similar  reflection,  and  a  veil  had  always 
to  be  drawn  over  their  calamities  and  their  costliness 
when  it  was  a  question  of  calculating  the  respective 
advantages  of  the  combatants.  As  far  as  they  went 
the  advantages  in  the  present  case  were  with  the  allies. 
"  With  regard  to  this  treaty  the  honour  of  it  appears 
to  remain  with  France,  the  danger  with  Spain,  the 
good  fortune  with  America,  and  I  would  add  the 
disgrace  with  Great  Britain  if  she  had  not  so  gloriously 
carried  on  hostilities.  As  for  profit  perhaps  none  can 
be  claimed  by  any  of  them."  On  the  whole  Mallet 
du  Pan  questioned  whether  the  results  to  Great  Britain 
were  as  sinister  as  they  appeared,  whether  the  sacrifices 
she  had  made  were  not  more  specious  than  real,  and 
whether  the  potentates  of  Europe  would  in  the  end 
have  much  to  congratulate  themselves  upon  in  the 
example  of  insurrection  which  they  had  successfully 
encouraged  in  the  New  World. 

1  Mallet  du  Pan  remarked  of  this  war  that  it  was,  as  regarded 
Europe,  devoid  of  the  horrors  which  had  attended  previous  wars — 
"Tout  se  reduit  a  jeter  des  millions  dans  1'eau". 





NOWHERE  in  Europe,  save  in  England,  could  a  political 
writer  have  enjoyed  the  freedom  in  the  expression  of 
his  opinions  which  a  residence  in  the  Republic  of  Geneva 
afforded  to  Mallet  du  Pan  during  these  years.1  But 
his  work  was  subjected  to  interruption  from  a  cause  to 
which  one  who  cared  for  his  country's  welfare  could 
not  remain  indifferent,  for  the  city  was  continuously 
a  prey  to  domestic  turmoil.  Voltaire  has  described  the 
faction  fights  of  Geneva  and  the  character  of  the  people 
in  the  lines— 

Chacun  ecrit,  chacun  fait  son  projet 
On  repre'sente  et  puis  on  repre'sente 
A  penser  creux  tout  bourgeois  se  tourmente. 

The  struggle  between  the  natifs  on  the  one  side  and 
the  aristocracy  and  bourgeoisie  on  the  other  had  changed 
its  character  since  Mallet's  first  intervention  in  1770. 

1 "  I  have  a  few  stray  numbers  of  the  Annales"  wrote  J.  L.  Mallet, 
"  and  can  only  say  that  a  work  conducted  with  such  critical  spirit,  and 
so  much  political  independence,  would  at  this  day  be  instantly  sup- 
pressed if  published  in  any  part  of  Switzerland.  So  much  for  the 
comparative  style  of  the  press  in  1775  and  1825." 


The  natifs,  no  longer  oppressed,  but  on  the  contrary 
courted,  by  the  privileged  parties,  had  steadily  gained 
ground  at  their  expense,  and  the  contest  had  resolved 
itself  into  one  between  the  aristocratic  senate  and  the 
democratic  element  in  the  constitution.  In  this  contest 
the  Council  was  certainly  no  longer  the  most  imperious 
or  exacting  party,  and  it  had  become  essential,  if  any 
sort  of  balance  was  to  be  preserved  and  civil  freedom 
to  continue  to  exist,  that  some  compromise  should  be 
found  which,  while  limiting  the  encroachments  of  the 
powers  of  the  Government,  might  set  bounds  to  the 
indiscretion  of  democratic  zeal.  Mallet  du  Pan  accord- 
ingly, who  had  hitherto  scrupulously  refrained  from  any 
political  action,  broke  silence  in  1780  with  proposals 
for  conciliation,1  including  the  introduction  of  the  prin- 
ciple of  irremovability  in  public  employments,  in  which 
he  and  the  most  enlightened  of  his  compatriots  saw 
a  chance  of  safety.  That  the  pamphlet  recommended 
itself  to  moderate  minds  is  equivalent  in  a  time  of  revo- 
lution to  saying  that  its  advice  fell  on  deaf  ears,  and 
events  proceeded  until  an  appeal  of  the  Council  to  the 
Powers  which  guaranteed  the  Genevese  constitution, 
the  Swiss  Cantons  and  France,  precipitated  a  revolu- 
tionary outbreak  on  the  night  of  the  8th  April  1782, 
when  the  reprhentants  and  the  armed  mob  gained  an 
almost  bloodless  victory  and  threw  into  prison  the  sena- 
torial party  and  their  friends.  To  this  event  probably 
belongs  a  note  which  Mallet  appended  to  a  belated 
number  of  the  Annales  containing  an  interesting  study 
of  the  Confessions  of  Rousseau. 

1  Idees  soumises  a  fexamen  de  ious  les  conciliateurs  par  un  medi- 
ateur  sans  consequence,  1780. 


"  This  article,"  he  says,  "  should  have  appeared 
three  weeks  ago.  An  inconceivable  event  which  has 
plunged  a  portion  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  city  into 
alarm  and  captivity  has  made  me  a  prisoner  of  war 
in  my  native  State.  In  such  a  situation  a  man  must 
be  more  of  a  philosopher  than  I  can  pretend  to  be 
to  keep  a  cool  head.  I  ask  pardon  of  the  public  for 
the  feebleness  of  this  number.  My  only  wonder  is 
that  I  have  been  able  to  finish  it  at  all.  Each  line 
has  cost  me  an  effort.  I  had  never  imagined  that  I 
should  live  to  deplore  having  fixed  the  seat  of  my 
labours  in  a  republic  ! " 

For  two  months  the  popular  party  reigned  unchecked, 
placing  in  the  hands  of  a  Commission  de  SureU  of 
eleven  members  extraordinary  powers,  powers  such  as 
those  "  by  which  almost  all  republics  have  perished," 
while  the  Swiss  arbitrators  in  vain  endeavoured  to 
re-establish  an  equilibrium.  Active  intervention  soon 
followed,  an  army  of  10,000  Swiss  Savoyard  and 
French  troops  appeared  before  the  walls,  and,  with 
the  rest  of  the  citizens,  Mallet  du  Pan  was,  we  are 
told,  many  a  time  called  away  from  his  writing-table 
to  mount  guard  on  the  ramparts  of  the  city.  The  ap- 
proach of  the  Powers  only  stimulated  the  excitement 
of  the  people,  but  the  general  alarm  at  last  induced 
the  provisional  Government  to  send  a  deputation  to 
the  quarters  of  the  Comte  de  la  Marmora  who  was  at 
the  head  of  the  Savoyard  troops,  and  who  was  well 
known  and  trusted  in  Geneva.  Mallet  du  Pan  was 
attached  to  the  mission,  but  his  efforts  were  frustrated 
by  the  fanaticism  of  the  other  commissioners  and  of 
the  mob,  and  after  some  days  of  frantic  agitation  the 
allied  troops  effected  an  entrance  into  the  town  without 
serious  resistance,  and  order  was  re-established  at  the 


cost  of  the  real  independence  and  freedom  of  the 
Republic.  "Another  instance,"  wrote  Mallet,  "of 
liberty  lost  by  attempts  to  increase  it ;  over  and  over 
again  have  happy  nations  delivered  themselves  into 
chains  by  the  search  for  a  government  free  from  abuses, 
which  not  a  single  one  of  them  has  ever  succeeded  in 

The  episode  ended,  as  far  as  he  was  concerned,  by 
the  courageous  publication  in  the  Annales x  of  a  graphic 
and  sombre  account  of  the  late  events,  in  which  the 
writer  traced  the  "  spirit,  the  immorality,  the  degradation 
of  principles,  which  ruled  in  Geneva  at  the  moment  of 
her  ruin".  It  drew  upon  him  a  furious  attack  from 
the  extremists  of  both  parties  and  particularly  from 
Brissot,  the  revolutionary  champion  with  whom  he  was 
destined  to  break  many  a  lance  in  later  days.  It  would 
be  difficult  to  exaggerate  the  influence  of  these  events 
on  his  political  ideas,  they  finally  disillusioned  him  with 
republican  government  as  such,  and  taught  him  a  lesson 
in  democracy  which  left  indelible  traces  on  his  mind, 
and  must  partly  account  for  the  marvellous  prescience 
with  which  he  judged  from  its  opening  days  the  prob- 
able course  of  the  French  Revolution. 

About  this  time  Linguet  emerged  from  the  Bastille, 
an  event  warmly  welcomed  in  the  Annales  until  his 
vanity  and  jealousy  led  him  into  an  unwarrantable  and 
ungenerous  attack  on  Mallet  du  Pan,  and  finally  opened 
his  eyes  to  the  character  of  his  eccentric  co-editor. 
From  March  1783,  therefore,  Mallet  carried  on  the 
work  under  the  new  title  of  Memoires  historiques, 

1  Annales ,  vol.  iv.,  nos.  25,  26.  "Nous  etions  sature*s  de  liberte, 
les  derniers  troubles  en  furent  les  indigestions." 


politiques  et  litteraires  sur  Petat  present  de  C  Europe ] 
for  a  few  months,  until  an  offer  from  Paris  induced  him 
to  break  off  an  enterprise  which  he  had  carried  on 
under  many  difficulties  and  with  only  moderate  financial 

Political  journalism  on  the  Continent,  or  at  least  the 
wide  circulation  of  gazettes  containing  political  criticism 
and  news,  may  be  said  to  date  from  the  Revocation  of 
the  Edict  of  Nantes ;  and  Holland,  the  refuge  of  all 
who  had  suffered  from  religious  or  political  persecu- 
tion, was  its  headquarters.  The  journals  published 
there  in  the  French  language  were  of  two  sorts,  those 
which  like  the  famous  Gazette  d  Amsterdam  or  Gazette 
de  Hollande  (vehicule,  as  Bayle  described  it,  de  toutes 
les  m'edisances  de  I' Europe],  foreign  papers  written  in 
French  as  the  political  language  of  Europe,  were 
habitually  hostile  to  France ;  and  secondly  those  which 
were  written  specially  for  French  readers,  French 
papers  published  abroad  because  their  publication  in 
France  was  not  allowed.  Both  kinds,  but  especially 
the  latter,  whether  unauthorised  or  allowed  as  a  result 
of  financial  contract  with  the  Foreign  Office,  were  widely 
circulated  in  France  before  the  Revolution,  and  supple- 

1  The  Annales  had  been  carried  on  under  his  sole  control  since 
the  beginning  of  1781,  and  thirty-six  numbers  in  five  volumes  had 
been  published  ;  the  Memoires  formed  another  volume  often  numbers. 
"  Nee  temere  nee  timide  "  was  the  motto  which  Mallet  had  prefixed  to 
his  journal.  The  account  given  in  the  text  indicates  the  character 
of  the  work  and  its  importance  in  the  history  of  continental  journalism; 
that  it  found  a  certain  amount  of  public  favour  is  clear  from  the  fact 
that  a  translation  was  printed  periodically  in  Florence,  as  well  as  two 
pirated  editions  in  Switzerland  and  in  the  Netherlands,  and  that 
although  it  was  forbidden  in  France  it  had  a  certain  circulation  in 
that  country. 


merited  to  the  great  satisfaction  of  the  public  the  sterility 
of  the  Official  Gazette  de  France,  whose  exclusive  privi- 
lege it  was  '  de  ne  rien  dire  ou  de  dire  des  riens '.  The 
beginning  of  the  century  (1704)  had  indeed  seen  the 
establishment  of  the  Journal  de  Verdun,  the  first 
French  newspaper  which  treated  in  however  discreet  a 
fashion  of  history  and  passing  events,  and  of  the  Mercure, 
founded  in  the  preceding  century  as  the  Mercure  galant 
which  later  developed  as  the  Mercure  de  France  into 
a  literary  and  miscellaneous  journal  of  great  importance 
and  politically  became  an  official  paper  of  the  type  of 
the  Gazette.  But  it  was  the  enterprise  of  the  great 
publisher  Panckoucke,  son  of  a  bookseller  and  writer 
of  Lille  who  arrived  in  Paris  to  pursue  his  father's 
calling  in  1764,  which  first  made  serious  political 
journalism  possible  in  France,  and  he  owed  his  success 
in  this  respect,  as  we  shall  see,  to  his  discernment  in 
the  choice  of  Mallet  du  Pan  for  the  editorship  of  his  new 
venture  in  connection  with  the  Mercure  de  France. 

At  the  time  of  which  we  are  speaking  (1783) 
Panckoucke  had  fully  established  his  position  as  the 
business  head  of  French  literature.  He  had  been  the 
publisher  of  the  encyclopaedia  and  of  Buffon's  works, 
and  he  had  amassed  a  large  fortune  while  behaving 
with  noble  generosity  to  men  of  letters  who  owed  to 
him  a  sensible  amelioration  of  their  hitherto  unfortunate 
condition.  He  thus,  as  his  brother-in-law  Suard  relates, 
became  the  friend  and  equal  of  the  men  of  genius  for 
whom  his  presses  were  at  work,  and  his  splendid  houses, 
in  Paris  near  the  old  Comedie  Fran9aise  and  the  Cafe 
Procope,  and  at  the  Bois  de  Boulogne,  were  the  centre 
of  a  distinguished  literary  and  artistic  circle ;  while  his 
relations  with  men  like  Rousseau,  Buffon,  and  Voltaire, 


whose  writings  had  become  affairs  of  state,  brought 
him  into  relationship  with  ministers.  His  journalistic 
ventures  alone  must  have  ensured  him  more  than  enough 
attention  from  the  Government,  for  he  had  control  of 
the  two  official  journals,  the  Gazette  and  the  Mercure. 
In  1772  he  had  obtained  permission  to  print  in  Paris 
a  Journal  historique  et  politique,  known  until  the 
Revolution  as  the  Journal  de  Geneve  ;  and  soon  after, 
buying  up  some  competing  papers,  he  consolidated 
them  under  the  title  of  Journal  de  Bruxelles,  as  editor 
of  which  we  have  seen  that  he  introduced  Linguet  to 
journalism.  He  now  decided  to  unite  to  the  Mercure 
de  France  the  political  journal  which  appeared  weekly 
under  the  double  title  of  Journal  de  Bruxelles  and 
Journal  historique  et  politique  de  Geneve,  and  offered 
Mallet  du  Pan  the  editorship1  of  the  latter,  reserving 

xBy  the  contract  signed  in  March  1784,  Mallet  du  Pan  was  to 
receive  as  salary  7,200  livres  a  year,  and  1,200  livres  in  addition  for 
articles  in  the  literary  portion  of  the  Mercure  (about  ,£350  a  year), 
with  an  addition  of  one  livre  for  every  copy  sold  over  10,259 — a 
remuneration  which  Mr.  Hatin  describes  as  marking  the  high  value 
put  upon  his  services.  Under  this  contract  he  seems  to  have  received 
between  9,000  and  10,000  francs  a  year.  Subsequent  arrangements,  as 
the  circulation  grew  and  the  political  portion  became  increasingly 
important,  raised  the  editor's  remuneration,  until  in  1789  Panckoucke, 
in  acknowledgment  of  the  "  constant  success  "  of  the  journal  since 
1784  under  Mallet's  management,  raised  his  salary  to  12,000  francs 
a  year,  with  2,000  francs  for  every  1,000  additional  subscriptions, 
and  promised  a  pension  to  him  if  incapacitated,  or  to  his  widow  in 
case  of  his  death.  And  in  1790  the  proprietorship  of  the  Mercure 
historique  et  politique,  whether  published  at  Brussels  or  elsewhere, 
was  divided  between  Mallet  and  Panckoucke.  In  1791  Panckoucke 
engaged  to  pay  him  a  salary  of  18,000  francs.  But  by  this  time  the  un- 
popular opinions  advocated  in  the  Mercure  politique  and  the  persecu- 
tion to  which  it  was  subjected  had  seriously  affected  its  circulation  ; 


the  right  to  compose  from  it  the  Journal  de  Bruxelles 
which  was  joined  to  the  Mercure  and  appeared  with 
it  every  Saturday.  Mallet  du  Pan  thus  became  in 
effect  what  he  became  titularly  somewhat  later,1  sole 
editor  of  the  political  portion  of  the  Mercure  /  the 
editors  of  the  literary  portion  being  the  academicians 
Marmontel,  Suard  and  La  Harpe,  the  latter  chiefly 
known  to  modern  readers  as  the  author  of  the  Prophe'tie 
de  Cazotte  in  which  the  fate  of  the  social  and  literary 
flower  of  France  in  the  Revolution  is  so  dramatically  and 
terribly  portrayed.  It  may  be  added  that  during  the 
whole  period  of  their  connection,  and  even  after  it  had 
ceased,  the  relationship  of  Mallet  du  Pan  and  Panc- 
koucke  and  their  families  remained  on  the  most  cordial 
and  friendly  footing.  The  following  boyish  recollections 
of  Panckoucke  and  his  family  by  Mallet's  son  may 
here  be  quoted  : — 

"  M.  Panckoucke  had  a  son,  afterwards  a  distin- 
guished man  of  letters,  and  two  daughters  ;  the  son  the 
youngest  of  the  three ;  all  clever  children,  for  whose 
education  no  expenses  were  spared,  who  had  access 
to  collections  of  prints  and  drawings  and  to  a  fine 

Panckoucke  protested  that  it  caused  him  a  loss  in  1791,  and  when 
Mallet  left  Paris  in  the  spring  of  1792  his  salary  was  in  arrear. 
In  reply  to  his  applications  Panckoucke  wrote  in  1793  describing  the 
ruin  which,  in  spite  of  his  efforts  by  starting  journals  on  the  revolu- 
tionary side,  such  as  the  Moniteur,  had  overtaken  him,  and  pitifully 
begging  for  time  to  defray  his  debt.  The  first  contract  gave  Mallet  in 
addition  books  and  engravings  and  works  of  art  and  of  industry  which 
came  in  for  notice,  Panckoucke  reserving  only  the  music.  It  is 
necessary  to  add  that  a  less  scrupulous  editor  might  easily  have 
enriched  himself  by  Government  pensions  and  gratuities. 

xln  1788.  From  this  date  till  its  demise  in  1792  the  Journal  de 
Geneve  was  apparently  published  also  separately  in  Geneva. 


library,  besides  the  advantage  of  a  constant  inter- 
course with  men  of  letters  and  artists.  Panckoucke 
himself,  an  odd,  clever  man,  with  some  genius  and  no 
small  eccentricity  of  character,  took  great  pains  to  cul- 
tivate their  tastes,  and  at  a  later  period  of  his  life,  when 
the  Revolution  had  destroyed  his  princely  fortune,  and 
nearly  turned  his  brain,  he  wrote  a  grammar  of  the 
French  language  for  the  use  of  his  son,  which  is  a 
work  of  considerable  merit.  An  intercourse  with  this 
family  ought  to  have  been  a  great  advantage  to  us,  as 
we  lived  within  a  short  walk  of  each  other ; 1  but  when 
we  met  it  was  to  play  at  hide-and-seek  in  the  garden 
passages  and  staircase  of  the  Hotel  de  Thou,  and  not 
to  compare  notes  of  our  studies. ": 

The  outward  aspect  of  the  newspaper  which 
formed  Mallet  du  Pan's  occupation  during  the  ten 
best  years  of  his  life  was  that  of  a  small  pamphlet  of 
something  like  1 50  pages.  The  number  published  on 
Saturday  3oth  June  1787,  to  choose  almost  at  random, 
began  of  course  with  the  literary  or  real  Mercure.  It 
opened  with  a  few  short  pieces  of  verse,  in  this  case  some 
lines  on  Le  Temps  present,  followed  by  an  elaborate 
acrostiche  by  several  writers,  a  charade,  an  enigma,  and 
a  logogriphe.  Then  followed  a  long  review  by  Mallet 
du  Pan  of  a  history  of  Queen  Elizabeth  by  Mdlle  de 
Keralio,  a  criticism  under  the  head  Spectacles  of  a 
drama  entitled  Tarare,  and  under  the  head  Varietes  a 
semi-serious  causerie  on  the  gxickets  or  passages  leading 
from  one  quarter  of  Paris  to  another,  a  letter  to  the 
editors  on  an  exhibition  of  pictures  by  art  students,  and 
short  notices  of  books,  engravings  and  music.  This 
part  of  the  paper  closes  with  the  formal  "approbation" 

1  Mallet  du  Pan  lived  in  Paris  in  the  Rue  de  Tournon  (No.  9), 
the  spacious  street  leading  up  to  the  Palais  du  Luxembourg  which 
still  retains  its  eighteenth  century  character. 

2  Reminiscences. 


of  the  censor.  The  Journal  politique,  which  forms 
the  second  portion,  contains  articles  on  correspondence 
from  Vienna,  from  Frankfort,  and  from  Madrid,  with 
various  items  of  news;  one  from  London,  which  happens 
to  be  of  no  particular  interest,  commenting  on  the  health 
of  the  Prince  of  Wales,  the  movements  of  ships  of  war 
and  the  launch  of  the  Orion,  the  speech  of  the  Viceroy 
of  Ireland  proroguing  Parliament  (given  in  full),  on  Mr. 
Pitt's  departmental  economies,  and  on  a  visit  of  the 
royal  family  to  Mr.  Whitbread's  brewery — 'etablissement 
prodigieux!  and  concluding  with  an  anecdote  of  the 
great  Lord  Chatham.  Under  the  head  of  "France" 
(which  generally  begins  with  court  intelligence  such  as 
signatures  by  the  royal  family  of  the  contracts  of 
marriage  of  the  nobility,  presentations  and  appoint- 
ments) there  is  a  royal  order  (rbglemenfy  on  finance  and 
commerce,  an  account  of  a  fire  at  the  Tuileries,  of 
certain  architectural  work  in  Paris,  of  a  sitting  of  the 
Academy  of  Arras,  and  the  text  of  the  Treaty  of 
Commerce  between  France  and  Russia,  and  items  on 
the  Rentes  and  Loteries.  The  number  ends  with  an 
article  on  political  events  in  the  Netherlands. 

Mallet's  son  has  left  an  account  of  the  life  led  by 
the  writer  in  Paris,  unfortunately  wanting  in  minuteness 
which  is  not  supplied  by  the  diary  kept  by  Mallet  du 
Pan  himself.  As  time  went  on  his  life  clearly  became 
less  isolated  (BufTon  was  one  of  the  few  eminent  men 
of  this  time  whom  he  seems  to  have  known  intimately), 
and  he  occupied  himself  in  studying  the  public  life  of 
Paris  in  many  aspects,  visiting  prisons  and  institutions  of 
all  kinds.  But  the  life  of  the  man  was  his  work,  and 
it  is  useless  to  look  for  picturesque  or  amusing  details 
such  as  many  other  memoirs  of  the  time  supply. 


"  My  family  had  no  natural  connections  or  acquaint- 
ances in  Paris,  and  our  life  there  during  the  first  two 
or  three  years  was  altogether  domestic.  My  father  as 
a  man  of  letters  had  access  to  a  large  and  distinguished 
circle,  but  he  availed  himself  very  sparingly  of  this 
advantage.  His  life  was  laborious,  he  took  regular 
exercise,  and  had  but  little  leisure  for  the  literary  and 
fashionable  coteries  of  Paris,  the  moral  atmosphere  of 
which  was  not  congenial  to  his  tastes  and  habits.  Edu- 
cated with  simplicity,  and  under  the  influence  of  moral 
feelings,  he  looked  with  no  favourable  eye  on  the  luxuri- 
ous and  loose  course  of  life  of  the  higher  classes  in 
Paris,  and  was  perhaps  too  much  inclined  to  treat  with 
contempt  the  philosophical  pretensions  of  the  salons. 
He  had  been  accustomed  at  Geneva  to  great  freedom  of 
opinion  and  speech,  and  wanted  that  easy  and  graceful 
acquiescence  which  can  alone  make  us  acceptable  guests 
at  the  tables  of  the  great.  My  father  likewise  laboured 
under  some  disadvantages  in  his  intercourse  with  the 
men  of  letters  of  Paris  ;  for,  independently  of  his  being 
a  sort  of  intruder  in  that  field,  where  many  of  them 
reaped  a  harvest  of  pensions  and  laurels,  they  did  not 
see  without  jealousy  one  of  their  most  valuable  literary 
stalls  filled  by  a  stranger ;  nor  did  the  earnestness  of 
his  opinions  harmonise  with  the  general  tone  of  French 
conversation.  A  better  school  of  opinion  prevailed  at 
that  time  than  when  Diderot  and  D'Holbach's  parties 
reigned  supreme.  Suard  and  Marmontel  were  moder- 
ate and  reasonable  men ;  but  the  Encyclopedic  was 
still  high  on  the  horizon,  and  a  young  Genevese  who 
ventured  to  dispute  its  decisions  was  not  likely  to  meet 
with  much  indulgence.  Nor  was  my  father  more  for- 
tunate in  his  politics ;  for  he  was  shocked  on  the  one 
hand  with  the  levity  of  the  people,  the  profligacy  of 
the  higher  classes,  the  arbitrary  tone  and  measures  of 
the  Government,  and  on  the  other,  did  not  see  with- 
out surprise  and  fearful  anticipations,  those  searching 
questions  which  arose  out  of  the  American  war  brought 


to  the  bar  of  every  drawing-room.  The  manner  in 
which  these  questions  were  discussed,  and  the  opinions 
which  generally  prevailed  on  political  subjects,  were  so 
much  at  variance  with  the  Government  de  facto,  and 
the  demoralised  state  of  society ;  so  inconsistent  with 
everything  that  was,  that  my  father,  although  born  a 
Republican,  and  sensitively  alive  to  the  blessings  of 
freedom,  often  found  himself  checking  that  spirit  of  in- 
discriminate innovation  which  seemed  ready  to  break 
through  all  restraints.  His  notes  on  passing  events, 
from  1785  to  1793,  confirm  the  impressions  generally 
entertained  of  the  low  estimate  in  which  the  French 
Government  was  held  at  the  period  immediately  pre- 
ceding the  Revolution,  and  its  apparent  unconscious- 
ness of  the  contempt  in  which  it  was  held.  The  court 
and  ministers  went  on  with  their  worn-out  machinery, 
interfering  in  every  way  with  the  press,  with  courts  of 
justice,  and  private  rights  ;  issuing  Lettres  de  Cachet, 
and  bold  enough  against  individuals,  but  wavering  and 
irresolute  in  all  measures  of  real  moment,  distributing 
pensions  and  gratuities  to  literary  men,  almost  all  en- 
gaged in  pulling  down  the  old  fabric  ;  and  on  the  eve 
of  a  Revolution  so  pregnant  with  calamities,  the  people 
apparently  as  light-hearted  as  in  the  gayest  times  of 
the  Monarchy.  Gluck  and  Picini,  Cagliostro,  and  the 
'Manage  de  Figaro,'  successively  engrossing  the  public 
mind  !  Such  times  were  full  of  subjects  for  observation 
to  a  man  of  sense  and  political  discernment,  and  if  my 
father's  daily  occupations  had  been  less  urgent,  his 
temperament  more  calm,  and  the  interest  he  took  in 
the  Revolution  of  a  less  intense  and  painful  nature,  he 
might  have  collected  and  left  valuable  memoirs.  The 
rapid  progress  of  events  furnished  ample  materials  for 
a  periodical  publication  ;  but  although  my  father  did 
not  feel  the  irksome  necessity  of  enlarging  upon  trifling 
circumstances,  and  of  substituting  conjectural  observa- 
tions for  facts,  so  frequently  the  lot  of  periodical  writers, 
the  importance  and  interest  of  daily  occurrences,  and  the 
mass  of  information  which  flowed  from  every  quarter 


required  his  undivided  attention ;  and  the  analysing 
these  materials  for  the  press,  the  distinguishing  how  far 
party  feelings  might  prevail  over  truth,  and  the  com- 
menting with  spirit  and  discrimination  on  the  occur- 
rences of  the  week,  was  a  task  of  great  labour  and 
difficulty.  The  talent  for  a  quick  and  powerful  analysis 
is  not  uncommon  in  this  country ;  but  independently  of 
the  superiority  of  the  Mercure  as  a  periodical  work, 
there  is  a  marked  difference  between  an  avowed  and 
an  anonymous  publication.  My  father's  name  was 
affixed  to  his  writings,  whereas  the  London  periodical 
publications  are  nearly  all  anonymous.  Still  greater 
difficulties,  however,  stood  in  my  father's  way.  From 
the  time  that  he  undertook  the  political  part  of  the 
Mercure,  in  the  year  1783,  to  the  period  of  the  Re- 
volution, a  most  rigid  and  capricious  censorship  left 
him  in  a  state  of  complete  uncertainty  as  to  the  fate 
of  the  sheets  prepared  for  publication.  He  entertained 
upon  many  great  questions,  both  of  home  and  foreign 
policy,  opinions  altogether  at  variance  with  those  of 
the  Government.  Few  numbers  of  the  Mercure,  there- 
fore, escaped  the  severe  scrutiny  of  the  censors ;  and 
I  have  heard  him  say,  that  in  consequence  of  the  sup- 
pression of  entire  articles,  he  was  frequently  under  the 
necessity  of  supplying  many  pages  of  new  matter  within 
a  few  hours  of  going  to  press ! " l 

A  contemporary  account  describes  the  nature  of 
the  Journal  politique.  "  This  journal  takes  the  place 
of  all  the  gazettes,  it  is  compiled  from  all  the  public 
prints  of  Europe  and  from  special  correspondences  es- 
tablished in  the  capitals.  The  facts  are  connected  with 
so  much  method  and  with  such  scrupulous  exactness 
that  the  news  of  the  different  kingdoms  is  given  in  the 
form  of  materials  ready  for  use  as  history,  and  their 
description  applies  more  particularly  to  the  account  of 
English  affairs."  Three  censors  watched  over  the 

1  Reminiscences. 


publication,  but  for  a  writer  of  Mallet's  historical  turn 
of  mind  the  restriction  may  have  been  less  irksome 
than  it  seemed,  and  he  was  at  all  events  enabled  to 
realise  in  a  more  satisfactory  manner  than  before  his 
ideal  of  the  more  important  functions  of  the  journalist, 
that  of  distinguishing  between  truth  and  falsehood,  and 
presenting  important  facts  in  their  proper  perspective. 
The  volumes  which  contain  his  articles  at  this  period 
are  doubtless  less  interesting  to  the  general  reader  than 
the  Annales  in  which  he  was  free  to  comment  on 
political  events ;  but  the  years  which  the  writer  was 
now  to  spend  in  sifting  and  studying  European  affairs 
must  have  immensely  ripened  his  judgment  and  in- 
creased his  store  of  knowledge.  In  foreign  affairs,  as 
we  shall  see,  he  was  allowed  rather  more  freedom  than 
in  domestic  matters,  except  where  the  Government  had 
some  line  of  policy  or  intrigue  to  advocate,  and  he 
possessed  the  art  which  served  him  well  of  confining 
his  comments  to  short  but  illuminating  paragraphs, 
and  of  enlivening  the  course  of  his  narrative  by 
summary  observations  which  gave  it  meaning  and 
supplied  food  for  reflection.  By  a  curious  contradiction 
also,  the  literary  part  of  the  Mercure  was  comparatively 
free  from  this  censorship ;  and  in  his  articles  on  philo- 
sophic, economic,  and  historical  works,  Mallet  was  ac- 
cordingly able  to  introduce  the  larger  treatment  of 
political  affairs,  the  absence  of  which  had  hitherto  kept 
French  journalism  at  so  great  a  distance  from  periodical 
writing  in  England  and  even  in  Germany.  In  all  his 
writing  from  this  time  may  be  found  the  note  of  almost 
exaggerated  distrust  of  theorists,1  of  hostility  to  meta- 

1  Cf.  an  article  on  Grotius,  whom  he  calls  ennemi  methodique  du 
genre  humain  ! 



physical  systems  and  eloquent  generalisations,  of  con- 
tempt for  the  crude  doctrines  and  rash  speculations 
promulgated  by  the  successors  of  Rousseau.  This  atti- 
tude, however,  sprang  from  no  indifference  to  the  real 
interests  and  condition  of  the  people.  In  an  article, 
for  instance,  on  a  project  for  establishing  new  hospitals 
in  Paris  we  find  him  asking  why  the  sufferings  of  the 
people  seem  to  increase  with  the  external  prosperity  of 
States ;  he  continually  dwells  on  the  intolerable  burden 
of  taxation  on  the  poor  caused  by  bad  laws :  he  lauds 
the  growth  of  religious  toleration  in  Europe,  and 
notices  with  satisfaction  the  profound  humanity  which 
had  distinguished  the  debates  in  the  House  of  Com- 
mons on  the  proposal  to  repeal  the  Test  and  Corpora- 
tion Acts,  and  the  commencement  of  Wilberforce's 
noble  campaign  against  slavery.  Nor  was  his  sym- 
pathy with  free  institutions  the  less  sincere  because 
he  refused  to  take  words  for  realities  and  identify  free- 
dom with  the  forms  of  a  republic,  or  because  he  had 
come  to  see  in  a  limited  monarchy  the  best  guarantee 
for  the  security  and  happiness  of  a  State.  The  horrors 
of  the  Revolution  led  him  in  1793  to  repeat  the  maxim 
which,  as  he  then  said,  had  for  fifteen  years  guided  his 
thoughts  : — 

For  forms  of  government  let  fools  contest 
Whate'er  is  best  administered  is  best. 

His  natural  prepossession  in  favour  of  liberal  political 
systems  accordingly  did  not  prevent  him  even  at  this 
time  from  passing  an  eloquent  eulogy  on  Frederick  of 
Prussia  and  the  great  machine  of  state,  with  its  laborious 
activity,  its  plans  always  prepared  with  mature  thought 
and  carried  out  with  perseverance,  which  his  firm  will 


had  inspired.  But  Mallet's  thoughts  turned  with  in- 
creasing admiration  to  England l  where  the  dangers  both 
domestic  and  external  which  had  seemed  to  threaten 
her  very  existence  were  vanishing  one  by  one  under 
the  vivifying  rule  of  Chatham's  "astonishing"  son. 
In  his  alarm  at  the  violence  of  party  and  the  instability 
of  Governments,  he  had  but  half  suspected  the  resources 
of  a  constitution  which,  after  three  Cabinet  revolutions, 
gave  England  an  administration  proof  against  assault 
and  strong  in  the  confidence  of  both  King  and  people, 
just  at  the  moment  when  it  was  necessary  to  lay  afresh 
the  foundations  of  the  national  power.  He  watched 
with  wonder  the  re-establishment  of  the  finances,  the 
activity  of  the  legislature,  the  growth  of  the  population, 
the  progress  of  invention  and  industry,  and  the  exten- 
sion of  commerce.  The  general  confidence  in  the  fore- 
sight and  talents  of  the  Minister  and  the  suspension  of 
party  strife  taught  him  that  faction  lost  half  its  danger  in 
a  country  where  party  differences  were  not  differences 
of  irreconcilable  principle.  "  For  eighty  years  a  Tory 
had  been  the  friend  of  monarchy  without  abandoning 
liberty,  and  a  Whig  the  friend  of  liberty  without  re- 
nouncing monarchy."  Finally,  sympathising  for  the 
most  part  with  Pitt's  enlightened  measures,  he  was  now 
also  able  to  appreciate  his  rival  Fox,  whom  he  described 
in  1787  as  "the  most  talented  of  European  statesmen, 
worthy  to  govern  an  empire  while  his  associates  har- 
angued it".  He  followed  their  speeches  from  this 

1 "  II  est  a  remarquer,"  he  writes  in  his  diary,  "  que  les  trois  Puis- 
sances qui  ont  servi  les  insurgents  centre  les  Anglais  ont  e"te  toutes 
trois  abimees  par  cette  intervention  qui  devrait  ecraser  1'Angleterre, 
tandis  que  celle-ci  s'est  eleve'e  au  plus  haut  degre  de  prosperite,  d'union, 
de'  commerce,  de  navigation,  d'amelioration  dans  ses  finances." 


time  forward  so  closely  that  he  might  almost  have  said 
with  Byron  : — 

We,  we  have  seen  the  intellectual  race 
Of  giants  stand  like  Titans  face  to  face, 
Athos  and  Ida  with  a  dashing  sea 
Of  eloquence  between. 

The  commercial  treaty  with  France  was  the  one 
of  Pitt's  measures  which  excited  his  keenest  interest, 
inspired  as  it  was  by  the  teaching  of  Adam  Smith, 
"the  most  profound  and  philosophic  of  all  the  meta- 
physical writers  who  have  dealt  with  economic  ques- 
tions ".  The  writings  of  Adam  Smith  appealed  to 
Mallet  precisely  because  of  their  freedom  from  doc- 
trinairism.  The  best  economic  writings,  he  said,  quite 
in  the  spirit  of  the  modern  historical  school,  were  those 
of  Smith  in  England  and  of  MM.  de  Fourbonnais  and 
Necker  in  France,  which  were  not  so  much  "general 
treatises  as  books  for  the  special  use  of  the  states  in 
which  they  had  been  composed  ".  ' '  The  modern  doctors 
think  their  circumspection  puerile  and  unworthy  of 
genius,  an  opinion  which  is  not  surprising  in  persons 
accustomed  to  govern  the  whole  world  by  phrases." 
He  constantly  deprecated  insistence  on  so-called  prin- 
ciples. Nations  were  not  (des pieces  de  charpente'  which 
can  be  arranged  in  a  workshop  on  a  definite  plan. 
What  is  practicable  in  one  State  is  not  so  in  another, 
and  theories  in  legislation  must  bend  to  local  circum- 
stances. It  was  from  this  point  of  view  that  Mallet 
warmly  championed  Pitt's  treaty  which  was  beginning 
to  be  unpopular  in  France  just  when  it  was  becoming 
acceptable  in  England.  Without  maintaining  that  free 
trade  was  beneficial  between  countries  at  different  stages 
of  development,  he  argued  that  the  economic  condition 


of  France  and   England  made  closer  commercial  re- 
lations of  self-evident  advantage  to  both  countries. 

The  event,  however,  which  filled  a  larger  space 
in  his  articles  on  English  affairs  during  the  years 
1786-8  than  any  other  was  the  trial  of  Warren 
Hastings.  There  are  few  more  curious  or  character- 
istic pages  in  the  history  of  the  expansion  of  England 
than  this  famous  trial.  It  was  extraordinary,  as  Mallet 
du  Pan  observed,  that  a  "  nation  which  had  usurped  a 
great  part  of  Hindustan  should  wish  to  superimpose  the 
rules  of  morality  upon  those  of  an  administration  based 
essentially  on  force,  injustice  and  violence "  ;  and  that 
it  should  reward  with  impeachment  the  man  who  had 
preserved  the  Indian  conquests  against  greater  odds 
than  those  which  in  other  parts  of  the  Empire  had 
inflicted  such  disastrous  losses  on  Great  Britain.  The 
spectacle  was  well  calculated  to  revive  traditional 
charges  of  British  hypocrisy,  especially  when  motives 
of  personal  spite  and  party  animosity  were  seen 
to  play  a  large  part  in  the  proceedings  against  the 
ex-Governor  General.1  Yet  nothing  can  be  more 

1 "  A  short  time  previously  to  the  resignation  of  the  Earl  of  Mans- 
field as  Lord  Chief  Justice  a  motion  was  made  in  Parliament  by 
Mr.  Elliott,  a  friend  of  Mr.  Pitt's,  recommending  a  pension  to  the 
Lord  Chief  Justice  in  consideration  of  his  great  services  and  his 
great  age.  Lord  Mansfield,  who  was  not,  it  seems,  fully  aware  of 
the  purport  of  the  motion,  sent  the  next  day  for  Sir  John  Macpherson 
and  desired  him  to  ascertain  whether  he  was  to  take  it  as  a  hint 
to  resign.  Sir  John  applied  to  Sir  Archibald  Macdonald,  who  spoke 
to  Mr.  Pitt,  by  whom  he  was  assured  that  he  did  not  wish  Lord 
Mansfield  to  retire  one  day  sooner  than  he  might  think  it  proper. 
The  Chief  Justice,  however,  soon  resigned ;  but  on  his  return  to  him 
with  the  information  he  had  obtained,  Sir  J.  Macpherson  was  asked 
by  Lord  Mansfield  what  he  thought  of  Mr.  Pitt.  '  I  think,  my 
Lord,  that  he  is  a  great  minister.'  'Ah,  Sir  John,'  rejoined  the 


certain  than  that  indifference  to  the  abuses  of  mal- 
administration, corruption  and  violence,  which  the  par- 
liamentary inquiries  of  1782  had  revealed,  would  have 
stamped  the  British  legislature  as  unworthy  of  the 
responsibility  of  empire  ;  and  it  was  no  great  step  from 
attempts  to  reform  the  Government  of  India  to  attacks 
on  the  man  whom  the  proprietors  of  the  East  India 
Company  had  retained  in  power  in  defiance  of  both 
Parliament  and  the  directors.  Mallet  du  Pan  indeed 
recognised  that  "  whatever  the  issue  of  the  trial  it 


would  do  honour  to  the  British  Constitution,"  as  proving 
that  neither  credit,  nor  wealth,  nor  the  merit  attaching 
to  great  services,  could  shield  an  administrator  from 


an  examination  into  his  conduct.  It  would  have  been 
natural  for  one  who  had  sympathised  with  the  objects 
of  Fox's  East  India  Bill  to  have  accepted  the  popular 
view  of  Warren  Hastings.  But  the  unmeasured  abuse 
of  which  he  became  the  object  soon  revolted  Mallet's 

judge  in  his  peculiar  voice,  '  A  great  little  minister.  Did  you  ever 
hear,  Sir  John,  of  a  minister  prosecuting  another  minister  ?  Would 
a  great  minister  have  suffered  Mr.  Hastings  to  be  arraigned?' 
'  Justice  may  have  required  it,'  said  Sir  John.  '  Justice,  Sir  John, 
what  is  political  justice?  who  is  she?  where  is  she?  did  you  ever 
see  her  ?  Do  you  know  her  colour  ?  Her  colour  is  Blood  !  I  have 
administered  justice  for  forty  years,  but  that  was  justice  between 
man  and  man  ;  as  to  justice  between  one  minister  and  another  I 
know  not  what  it  means.' 

"  This  anecdote  having  been  related  to  Lord  Thurlow  by  Sir  John 
Macpherson,  'Sir,'  said  old  Surly,  'you  need  not  have  said  that 
this  was  spoken  by  Lord  Mansfield.  He  was  a  man  who  was  right 
ninety-nine  times  out  of  a  hundred ;  and  if  he  chanced  to  err  there 
is  not  one  man  out  of  a  hundred  who  could  find  it  out.' 

"  This  anecdote  is  related  with  some  variations  in  the  second  part 
of  WraxaWs  Memoirs — Wraxall  had  it  no  doubt  from  Sir  John 
Macpherson  "  (J.  L.  Mallet's  Reminiscences). 


sense  of  justice,  and  his  anglophile  susceptibilities 
were  no  doubt  aroused  by  the  malevolence  which  the 
public  washing  of  English  dirty  linen  excited  among 
the  tribe  of  continental  gazetteers.  He  accordingly 
informed  Hastings  through  a  common  friend,  that  if  he 
would  furnish  notes  on  the  principal  heads  of  charge 
he  would  endeavour  to  give  a  fairer  statement  of  the 
arguments  than  could  be  collected  from  the  speeches  of 
the  managers  of  the  impeachment.1  Hastings  grate- 
fully availed  himself  of  the  offer,  and  Mallet  du  Pan 
accordingly  made  use  of  this  information  in  his  analyses 

1  Mallet  du  Pan's  son,  who  was  at  school  in  England  at  this 
time,  writes  as  follows :  "  I  had  been  twice  to  the  House  of  Lords 
during  the  trial,  and  the  person  of  Mr.  Hastings,  his  white  hair,  the 
fine  character  of  his  head,  and  the  situation  in  which  he  stood  at  the 
Bar,  had  strongly  excited  my  sympathy.  Mr.  Burke's  impassioned 
and  almost  vindictive  manner  and  looks,  whilst  speaking  in  the 
Manager's  Box  (of  which  I  have  a  distinct  recollection,  as  well  as  of 
the  great  man  himself,  dressed  in  a  snuff-coloured  suit,  with  bag  and 
sword),  had  likewise  contributed  to  give  me  an  unfavourable  impres- 
sion of  a  cause  in  which  so  much  party-spirit  seemed  to  be  engaged." 
At  a  later  date  when  he  was  again  in  London  seeking  employment,  he 
relates  (1797)  how  Hastings  called  upon  him  ("  ce  que  n'a  fait  aucune 
autre  personne"),  invited  him  to  his  house,  and  "entered  at  length  and 
with  great  indulgence  into  the  objects  of  my  journey  to  this  country. 
He  warned  me  not  to  be  too  sanguine,  for  the  difficulties  of  procur- 
ing a  situation  for  a  foreigner  were  considerable ;  and  added,  that 
his  desire  of  avoiding  all  appearance  of  private  solicitation  in  his  own 
cause  had  prevented  him  on  his  return  from  India  from  cultivating 
the  society  of  persons  of  rank  and  influence,  to  whom  he  had  but 
little  access ;  but  that  he  retained  a  strong  sense  of  his  obligations  to 
my  father,  and  would  do  for  me  whatever  lay  in  his  power.  As  he 
was  going  out  of  town  for  some  weeks,  he  desired  me  to  write  to 
him  if  I  thought  he  could  be  of  any  service,  offered  me  his  purse 
and  his  house,  and  left  me  strongly  impressed  with  the  kindness  of 
my  reception." 


and  comments  on  the  speeches.  As  may  be  imagined 
his  advocacy  of  an  unpopular  cause  drew  down  upon 
him  savage  attacks  from  the  French  press.  Claviere 
and  Brissot  printed  an  abusive  pamphlet  against 
him,  and  Brissot  and  Mirabeau  together  entered 
into  a  violent  controversy :  with  him,  insinuating  that 
he  had  been  bought  by  Nabob  gold.  But  posterity 
in  this  as  in  some  other  matters  has  vindicated  the 
judgment  of  the  journalist,  and  recognised  the  truth 
of  Warren  Hastings'  own  contention  when  he  said : 
"  No  man  in  a  station  similar  to  mine,  and  with 
powers  so  cramped  and  variable  as  mine  were,  ever 
laboured  with  so  passionate  a  zeal  for  the  welfare  of 
a  nation  as  I  did  to  promote  the  happiness  and  pros- 
perity of  the  people  under  our  jurisdiction  ". 

It  is  unnecessary  to  dwell  on  the  many  proofs 
afforded  by  Mallet  du  Pan's  writings  of  his  familiarity 
with  and  appreciation  of  English  institutions,  history 
and  literature,  and  of  his  sympathy  with  much  in  the 
national  character  which  he  seems  instinctively  to  have 

1  In  the  Analyse  des  Papiers  Anglais,  Mirabeau's  newly  founded 
journal,  which  he  had  for  some  reason,  probably  because  of  his  sup- 
port to  the  revolutionary  party  in  Holland  and  his  advocacy  of  the 
Government's  policy  in  regard  to  that  country,  obtained  permission 
to  publish  free  from  censorship.  He  proceeded  to  pass  judgment 
on  the  politics  of  the  whole  of  Europe  in  spite  of  Panckoucke's 
protests,  who  complained  that  his  privilege  was  being  violated,  and 
he  waged  war  on  Mallet  du  Pan.  Brissot,  who  assisted  Mirabeau 
in  the  campaign,  writes  in  his  memoirs  (ii.,  385) :  "  I  must  do  our 
adversary  the  justice  to  say  that  he  had  a  wide  knowledge  of  history 
and  was  well  acquainted  with  the  subjects  on  which  he  wrote,  while 
Mirabeau  was  entirely  without  information  ". 

Mirabeau's  journalistic  career,  however,  forms  an  important 
landmark  in  the  struggle  for  the  liberty  of  the  press  in  France. 


preferred  to  that  of  the  people  among  whom  his  lot 
was  cast.  He  gave  the  strongest  indication  of  this 
preference  when  he  chose  England  as  the  place  of 
education  of  his  eldest  son,  a  fortunate  choice  which 
doubtless  decided  the  future  nationality  of  his  de- 
scendants. The  boy  accordingly  spent  three  years, 
from  1786  to  1789,  at  school  or  in  families  in  this 
country,  and  returned  to  Paris  a  pronounced  anglo- 
maniac  as  the  following  passage  in  which  he  describes 
his  return  shows  : — l 

"  We  did  not  go  straight  to  Paris  the  evening  of 
our  arrival,  but  to  a  villa  of  Panckoucke's  in  the  Bois 
de  Boulogne,  the  summer  residence  of  his  family. 
The  English  mania  was  then  at  its  height ;  and 
Grimm,  in  his  memoirs,  does  not  overstate  the  rage 
that  prevailed  for  everything  English,  save  and  except 
the  English  Constitution,  to  which  no  one  thought 
it  desirable  to  assimilate  the  new  political  institutions 
of  the  country.  Grimm,  who  no  doubt  prided  himself 
on  his  costume  and  the  fashions  of  his  own  time,  is 
angry  beyond  measure  with  this  English  mania,  and 
draws  some  very  absurd  conclusions  from  it ;  but  it 
could  not  fail  to  be  agreeable  to  a  lad  just  landed 
from  Dover,  and  completely  equipped  h  f  Anglaise. 
The  morning  after  my  arrival  the  young  ladies  were 
not  satisfied  till  they  had  completely  rummaged  all  my 
baggage,  and  feasted  their  eyes  on  English  clothes, 
an  English  dressing  apparatus,  English  trinkets,  and 
even  English  boots,  of  which  the  leather,  as  I  well  re- 
member, was  handled  by  delicate  female  hands,  and 
praised  for  its  remarkable  softness  and  pliancy." 

It  is  not   to  the   pages  of  the  Mercure  with   its 
formal  official  announcements  and  uninteresting  record 

1  Reminiscences. 


of  unimportant  passing  events,  that  we  can  turn  for  a 
picture  of  pre-revolutionary  France.  For  here  the 
three  censors  were  inexorable,  permitting  no  comment 
on  internal  political  events.1 

"A  political  writer,"  indeed,  writes  J.  L.  Mallet,2 
"  was  at  that  time  a  considerable  person  at  Paris,  and 
my  father's  talents  and  independence  insured  him  public 
distinction  of  some  sort  or  other.  But  the  political  part 
of  the  Mercure  was  necessarily  of  inferior  importance  so 
long  as  the  Government  exercised  a  strict  censure  over 
all  political  opinions ;  for,  careless  as  they  were  to  the 
publication  of  the  Encyclopedic,  Rousseau  and  Diderot's 
works,  Raynal's  History  of  the  Indies,  and  the  many  able 
publications  in  which  the  principles  of  religion,  morals, 
government,  were  eloquently  and  fearlessly  discussed, 
the  French  Ministry  watched  a  newspaper  paragraph, 
or  the  announcement  of  the  most  insignificant  piece  of 
intelligence,  with  the  most  jealous  eye.  Even  within 
a  few  months  of  the  Revolution  and  of  those  political 
convulsions  which  laid  the  whole  fabric  of  government 
prostrate,  the  Abb6  Auger,  censor  of  the  Mercure, 
went  on  with  an  unsparing  hand,  cutting  up  my 
father's  manuscript,  suppressing  his  remarks  on  the 
affairs  of  Holland,  and  even  simple  statements  of  fact 
such  as  the  King  of  Prussia's  death,  and  notices  of 
the  publication  of  Necker's  Memoir e  Justificatif  and 
of  Calonne's  dismissal." 

The  morbid  sensibility  of  the  Government  ex- 
tended not  only  to  matters  of  fact  and  of  opinion, 
but  even  to  modes  of  expression ;  the  censor,  for 
instance,  objected  to  the  Stadtholder  being  described 
as  Prince  of  Orange  and  three  times  substituted  the 

1<(On  suit  en  France  1'axiome  oppose  a  dicere  de  vitiis  parcere 
personis.  On  deTend  de  parler  des  choses,  et  Ton  tolere  les  insultes 
aux  personnes  "  (Mallet  du  Pan's  Notes). 

2  Reminiscences. 


word  Nassau  for  Orange.  On  Dutch  affairs  generally 
Mallet  du  Pan  more  than  once  found  himself  in  conflict 
with  the  Ministry,  for  when  he  had  a  strong  opinion 
his  inflexibility  of  character  made  it  difficult  for  him 
to  avoid  giving  offence,  and  he  was  utterly  incapable 
of  writing  to  order.  Holland  was  during  the  years  pre- 
ceding the  Revolution  a  centre  of  diplomatic  intrigue. 
The  French  Government  endeavoured  to  dominate 
Dutch  politics  by  encouraging  the  democratic  agitation 
which  had  gained  so  dangerous  a  foothold  in  the  effete 
Republic,  and  which  culminated,  to  the  surprise  and 
even  consternation  of  Versailles,  in  the  insurrection 
of  1 786  and  the  flight  of  the  Stadtholder.  Mallet  du 
Pan  had  foretold  that  this  imprudent  and  unprincipled 
policy  would  result  in  the  interference  of  the  Powers, 
England  and  Prussia,  which  supported  the  Stadtholder- 
ate ;  he  had  seen  enough  of  revolutionary  violence  to 
assure  him  that  it  generally  meant  the  ruin  of  free 
States  ;  he  considered  that  it  was  not  the  business  of 
Governments  to  make  revolutions  ;  and  the  effect  upon 
public  opinion  in  France  of  the  American  war  (the 
"  American  inoculation "  was  his  phrase)  caused  him 
to  view  with  the  utmost  alarm  the  repetition  by  the 
Foreign  Minister,  Vergennes,  of  the  mistake  of  favour- 
ing insurrection  abroad.1  During  the  disturbances 
which  were  followed  in  1787  by  the  Prussian  invasion 
of  Holland,  he  accordingly  wrote  in  this  sense  against 

1  The  following  sentence  is  from  Mallet  du  Pan's  private  note- 
book, "  Le  Gouvernement  de  France  a  successivement  detruit  toutes 
les  formes  de  gouvernement  en  divers  etats.  La  democratie,  selon 
lui  toujours  funeste,  il  1'a  detruite  a  Geneve  pour  y  dtablir  1'aristocratie, 
detruit  1'aristocratie,  en  Suede  pour  y  substituer  la  Monarchic, 
1'aristocratie  en  Amerique  pour  y  substituer  la  democratie ! " 


the  policy  of  the  Ministry,  and  Vergennes,  to  whom 
the  censor  had  communicated  his  article,  stopped  the 
press,  had  an  article  written  in  a  contrary  sense  and 
instructed  Mallet  du  Pan  to  insert  it.  Mallet  im- 
mediately went  to  Versailles  and,  having  requested 
an  audience  of  the  Minister,  informed  him  that  he 
considered  the  notice  he  had  just  received  as  an 
order  to  return  the  privilege  which  had  been  granted 
him,  and  that  he  came  to  surrender  his  licence  rather 
than  write  against  his  conscience.  Struck  with  this 
spirit  of  independence  in  a  man  whose  subsistence 
depended  on  his  pen,  the  Minister  seized  his  hand  and 
exclaimed  :  "  This  must  not  be ;  you  will  give  up  your 
article,  I  shall  give  up  mine,  and  we  will  remain 
friends ".  A  tribute  indeed  from  the  man  who  said 
that  next  to  an  author  what  he  most  despised  was  a 
book ! 

Under  the  Comte  de  Montmorin,  who  succeeded 
Vergennes  in  1787,  Mallet's  position  became  increas- 
ingly difficult.  His  judgment  had  proved  too  correct 
to  please  the  Government,  and  it  exposed  him  to  the 
denunciations  of  the  Dutch  patriots  and  their  French 
sympathisers  who,  like  Mirabeau,  besieged  the  Foreign 
Office  with  complaints  against  him.  He  was  threatened 
with  the  loss  of  his  editorship,  and  worse,  if  he  did  not 
show  greater  complaisance.  He  wrote  a  very  out- 
spoken letter  of  remonstrance  to  Montmorin,  which 
another  minister  might,  as  he  said,  probably  have 
answered  by  a  lettre  de  cachet.  But  Montmorin,  be- 
tween whom  and  the  writer  a  feeling  of  warm  regard 
was  to  spring  up  in  later  days,  took  it  in  good  part,  and 
even  rendered  Mallet  du  Pan  a  service  by  frustrating 
an  intrigue  of  Mirabeau  to  get  the  Mercure  transferred 


to  himself  by  accusing  Mallet  of  being  a  rabid  Anglo- 
maniac,  treacherously  writing  against  the  views  of  the 

"If,"  wrote  Mallet  at  a  later  date1  in  reply  to 
accusations  of  being  in  the  pay  of  the  court,  "  I  did 
not  during  the  six  years  I  lived  under  the  old 
Government  lose  my  establishment  and  become  a 
prisoner  in  the  Bastille,  I  owe  it  to  the  consistency  of 
my  attitude  to  the  authorities,  and  to  my  offers  of  re- 
tirement a  hundred  times  repeated.  .  .  .  Determined 
to  lose  all  rather  than  sacrifice  my  independence,  I 
declared  over  and  over  again  to  various  ministers  that 
they  might  suppress  all  I  wrote,  but  that  they  should 
never  extract  from  me  a  line  or  a  eulogy  contrary  to 
my  conscience." 

This  line  of  conduct,  whatever  its  merits,  did  not 
add  to  the  interest  of  the  paper,  and  had  it  not  been 
for  the  existence  of  a  private  journal  which  Mallet  du 
Pan  kept  under  the  title  Observations  historiques  sur 
Paris*  from  1785  we  should  be  almost  without  an  indi- 
cation of  his  impressions  of  the  condition  of  the  country 
before  the  Revolution.  Nothing  could  be  more  striking 
than  the  contrast  between  the  two  records.  To  judge 
from  the  Mercure  the  government  of  France  might  be 

1  Mercure,  Nov.  1790. 

2M.  Sayous,  vol.  i.,  ch.  vi.,  gives  some  full  extracts  from  these 
rough  notes  which  were  evidently  intended  for  the  writer's  own  use 
on  some  future  occasion,  and  were  indeed  probably  used  by  him  in 
the  work  he  was  engaged  on  when  obliged  to  fly  from  Paris  in  1792. 
It  was  then  lost  with  his  other  papers,  the  work,  as  he  says,  of  half  a 
lifetime.  The  notebook  contains  a  multitude  of  political  reflections 
and  descriptions  of  significant  incidents,  anecdotes  of  ministers  and 
literary  people,  and  statistical  observations ;  a  mass  of  details  of  the 
most  vivid  interest  of  which  it  is,  unfortunately,  impossible  to  give 
anything  but  the  baldest  notion  in  this  place. 


proceeding  in  the  most  orderly  and  normal  fashion ;  a 
glance  at  the  diary  reveals  the  whole  story  of  the  vacil- 
lation and  embarrassment  of  the  royal  administration  l 
and  foreshadows  too  clearly  its  approaching  dissolution. 
The  born  observer  reveals  himself  in  these  pages  with 
their  record  of  characters  and  significant  incidents,  of 
bons  mots  and  manners,  of  the  licence  of  political  com- 
ment in  the  salons  and  in  the  streets.  "  Paris,"  said 
Mallet,  "begins  by  astonishing,  then  it  amuses,  finally 
it  overwhelms  one." 

Nothing  was  more  characteristic  than  the  attitude 
of  the  Government  towards  the  degraded  race  of  so- 
called  men  of  letters  in  Paris,  a  mass  of  half-educated 
scribblers  turned  out  by  the  academies,  musees  and  lycees, 
"pernicious  establishments  which  foster  the  mania  for 
writinef".  Immense  sums  were  lavished  by  ministers 

o  * 

in  pensions  and  gratuities  to  servile  pamphleteers,  the 
very  men  who  at  the  outbreak  of  the  Revolution  turned 
round  and  became  Friends  of  the  People  and  syco- 
phants of  the  mob,  and  who,  having  previously  dis- 
paraged Mallet  du  Pan  as  an  unruly  republican,  then 
branded  him  as  the  slave  and  pensioner  of  the  court.2 
"  A  certain  number  of  persons,"  he  notes  on  one  occa- 
sion, "  most  of  them  flatterers,  spies  and  intriguers, 

1  Described  by  a  wit  of  the  day  as  "  Corps  (f  elephant  avec  une  tete 
de  linotte  ". 

2  Obliged  to  defend  himself,  he  wrote :  "  Certes  on  ne  m'a  trouve 
ni  sur  les  livres  rouges,  ni  sur  les  registres  des  graces  et  pensions. 
Je  n'ai  pas  meme  participe  a  celles  qui  sont  acquittdes  sur  les  enormes 
redevances  que  payent  les  journaux  politiques ;  et  je  m'en  felicite, 
non  par  un  desinteressement  ridicule,  mais  parce  que  ayant  droit  a 
ces  benefices,  je  n'ai  a  me  reprocher  ni  une  lettre,  ni  une  demarche,  ni 
une  visite,  ni  une  sollicitation  qui  ait  pu  tendre  a  le  rappeler.  Je  n'ai 
rien  demande,  rien  refu"  (Mercure  de  France,  Nov.  1790). 


have  just  received  the  collier  de  servitude  in  the  shape 
of  great  pensions  from  M.  de  Calonne.  The  literary 
men  of  Paris  in  general  are  enchanted  with  these 
favours,  three  hundred  of  them  have  applied  for 
pensions.  Voila  a  quoi  on  emploie  I'argent  des 
peuples ! " 

One  of  them  wrote  of  Louis  XVI.  and  Calonne  : — 

Digne  sang  de  Henri,  puis-jete  meconnaitre  ? 
Que  dis-je  ?  II  vit  encore,  et  Sully  va  renaitre ! 

"  Ce  decent  Le  Brun !  "  is  the  comment.  "  Three  months 
ago  he  received  a  pension  of  two  thousand  francs.  He 
is  not  ungrateful ! " 

Of  the  two  requisites  of  good  government  postulated 
by  a  wit  of  the  time,  that  the  monarch  should  have 
before  his  eyes  the  fear  of  hell,  and  his  ministers  that 
of  the  freedom  of  the  press,  the  second  can  hardly, 
under  such  a  regime,  be  said  to  have  existed. 

Of  Calonne,  the  nominee  of  Vergennes  and  D'Artois, 
the  minister  who  completed  the  ruin  of  the  finances, 
who  was  always  ready  to  defray  any  extravagance  of 
the  Court  and  the  administration,  who  paid  the  debts 
of  the  Princes  and  bought  Saint-Cloud  and  Rambouillet 
for  the  Queen,  and  who,  shown  up  and  disgraced 
before  the  assembly  of  Notables,  reappeared  in  later 
days  as  one  of  the  blind  leaders  of  the  blind  in  the 
emigration,  some  curious  details  are  given  ;  especially 
as  to  his  expenditure  of  public  money  on  his  mistresses. 
He  is  sufficiently  described  as  a  man  '  qui  faisait  du 
plaisir  une  affaire,  et  des  affaires  unplaisir '.  Vergennes 
fares  little  better  in  these  pages.  He  figures  indeed  in 
the  histories  as  the  last  serious  statesman  of  pre-revolu- 
tionary  France,  and  his  consistent  policy  of  hostility  to 


England  appeals  to  the  patriotism  of  his  countrymen. 
At  the  conclusion  of  the  American  war  he  stood  out 
as  the  greatest  and  most  successful  of  European  foreign 
ministers.  In  reality,  his  policy  of  encouraging  insur- 
rection and  sowing  discord  in  foreign  States  recoiled 
with  disastrous  effect  on  his  own  country.  His  ambi- 
tious efforts  hopelessly  embarrassed  France  financially  ; 
he  was  the  opponent  of  Turgot  and  he  sacrificed 
Necker  to  Calonne.  Mallet  du  Pan  describes  him  as 
the  chief  author  of  the  actual  crisis  of  affairs.  He 
and  Maurepas,  virtual  Prime  Minister  during  the 
earlier  years  of  Louis  XVI.,  "have,"  he  says,  "been 
the  worthy  mentors  of  the  king,  they  have  lulled  him 
into  indifference  to  public  business  and  have  multiplied 
the  intrigues  of  the  court  par  leur  Idchete  &  tout  laisser 
faire".  Of  Vergennes'  private  life,  his  somewhat 
obscure  origin,  his  disreputable  marriage,  his  incred- 
ible meanness  in  money  matters,  a  deplorable  account 
is  given,  and  he  is  stated  to  have  died  with  the  largest 
private  fortune  amassed  in  the  public  service  since 

The  following  is  his  account  of  a  visit  to  the  king's 
private  library  at  Versailles  :— 

"  Livres  de  choix  of  various  kinds,  all  magnificently 
bound  and  enclosed  in  glass  bookcases.  In  the  sup- 
plementary library  .  .  .  are  the  new  books.  I  saw  a 
quantity  of  English  books  of  travel,  history  and  science, 
the  English  Review,  the  Annual  Register,  etc.  Presi- 
dent Coppay's  poor  refutation  of  M.  Necker's  work  is 

1  Marshal  de  Broglie  remarked  on  this  occasion:  "Je  ne  sais 
comment  font  aujourd'hui  nos  ministres.  Us  deviennent  tous 
opulents.  J'ai  vu  le  Cardinal  de  Fleury  frugal,  simple,  laissant  peu 
de  fortune ;  Orry  n'a  pas  laisse  dix  milles  livres  de  rente." 


side  by  side  with  it.  There  are  collections  of  the  Gazettes 
of  Leyden,  of  Amsterdam,  of  the  Bas  Rhin,  the  Journal 
de  Paris,  Affiches,  the  Gazette  de France,  and  the  Statutes 
at  large  of  the  British  Parliament  for  many  years.  The 
king  reads  much,  and  with  the  exception  of  the  En- 
cyclopedia all  the  books  in  his  library  have  been  through 
his  hands.  He  prefers  English  books  to  French.  He 
has  read  through  the  whole  of  the  great  English 
Universal  History  in  a  translation." 

Some  anecdotes  of  the  queen  are  related  which  re- 
flect the  popular  opinion  of  her.  At  the  Assembly  of  the 
Notables  she  wished  to  have  galleries  erected  for  her- 
self and  her  ladies.  The  king  refused  brusquely,  saying : 
"  You  are  not  regent ".  There  are  many  allusions  to 
the  affair  of  Cardinal  de  Rohan  and  to  the  frivolous 
amusements  and  companionships  in  which  the  queen 
indulged ;  how,  for  instance,  on  the  evening  of  an 
Easter  Day  on  which  she  had  taken  the  Sacrament 
she  went  with  her  whole  cortege  to  the  Comtesse  de 
Polignac  at  Monteuil,  the  party  returning  to  the 
public  scandal  '  dans  des  brouettes  aux  flambeaux '.  As 
an  illustration  of  the  familiarity  which  she  allowed  to 
her  courtiers,  one  of  them  is  described  as  lolling  on  an 
ottoman  in  her  presence  and  beginning  a  speech,  '  Si 
favais  rhonneur  d'etre  Louis  XVI T  and  the  well- 
known  story  is  quoted  of  her  remark  to  Madame 
Victoire  '  Ces  Parisiens  sont  indignes '  and  of  the  Prin- 
cess's rebuke  '  Madame,  dites  indignes ! ' 

There  are  curious  and  terrible  details  of  the  treat- 
ment of  the  unhappy  persons  confined  in  the  prisons 
and  madhouses ;  there  is  little  evidence  of  the  gaiety 
and  cheerfulness  associated  with  life  in  Paris  at  a  time 
of  which  Talleyrand  said,  '  Celui  qui  na  pas  vecu  alors, 

ria  pas  connu  le  plaisir  de  vivre ' ;  there  is  much,  on 



the  contrary,  of  the  spirit  of  unrest  and  discontent  of 
the  time.  The  graver  comments,  indeed,  contained 
in  this  diary  show  how  fully  alive  the  writer  was  to 
the  desperate  character  of  the  situation,  the  following 
for  instance  : — 

'  Ce  qui  caracteVise  la  monarchic  c'est  le  relachement 
universel.  II  n'y  a  ni  regie,  ni  loi,  ni  discipline.  Avec 
du  credit,  de  Tautorite,  et  de  Targent,  tout  est  impuni ; 
chacun  fait  ce  qu'il  veut.  Meme  esprit  dans  les  mceurs 
domestiques,  femmes,  enfants.' 

The  monarchy  was  ill  served  by  its  agents  ;  the  de- 
spatches of  the  ambassadors  were  generally  very  badly 
drawn  up,  essential  facts  being  omitted,  and  sometimes 
even  dates  and  familiar  and  proper  names  mistaken. 
Ministers  were  equally  incapable.  Mdlle  de  Luxem- 
bourg, for  instance,  observed  of  a  new  Minister  of 
Marine  :  '  Oh  je  suissur  quilreussira;  cest  lepluschar- 
mant  mediocrite\  With  this  went  uncertainty,  feeble- 
ness, and  incapacity  in  political  action.  The  news  one 
day  dictated  a  line  of  policy,  an  incident  the  next  day 
caused  it  to  be  changed.  The  terrible  irony  of  the  whole 
situation  was  that  reform  seemed  easily  within  the  grasp 
of  the  nation.  The  Government  opposed  no  obstacle ;  the 
court  had  made  every  step  in  advance,  the  people  none. 
The  assembly  of  the  Notables,  the  publication  of  the 
financial  situation,  the  promise  of  the  power  of  the 
purse  to  the  States  General  had  all  originated  with  the 
court  '  par  paternite  politique  fort  stupide,  par  embarras, 
par  ignorance'.  But  the  people  demoralised1  by  a 
century  of  despotic  maladministration  were  incapable  of 

1 "  En  France  comme  en  Russie  on  permet  aux  esclaves  d'avoir 
des  vices,  et  on  leur  donne  la  licence  centre  la  libert£  qu'on  leur  ote." 


seizing  the  opportunity,  and  Mallet  du  Pan  had  early 
formed  the  opinion,  which  events  too  fully  confirmed, 
that  their  national  character  unfitted  the  French  for 
free  institutions. 

"They  are  incapable  of  cool  deliberation,  and  there- 
fore of  free  government,  in  which  every  man  should 
discuss  with  weight  and  moderation  .  .  .  they  act 
always  from  sentiment,  never  from  reflexion.  Their 
vanity,  always  exercised  by  the  monarchical  spirit, 
would  destroy  a  republic  in  which  the  spirit  of  equality 
should  reign." 

This  is  not  the  place  in  which  to  follow  the  increase 
of  the  enormous  deficit  which  led  directly  to  the  sum- 
moning of  the  States  General  and  the  steps  by  which 
the  reign  of  Louis  XVI.  advanced,  through  a  succes- 
sion of  incapable  ministers  and  from  one  coup  cTEtat  to 
another,  towards  the  final  crisis.  The  painful  interest 
of  the  writer  and  his  absorption  in  the  spectacle  which 
was  being  unfolded  before  his  eyes  become  more 
marked  with  each  succeeding  month,  and  he  gives 
striking  pictures  of  the  anarchy  and  disorder  beginning 
to  prevail  in  the  streets.  During  the  autumn  of  1788, 
when  Lom^nie  de  Brienne  was  at  issue  with  the 
Parlement  and  rioting  was  beginning  in  Paris,  he 
wrote  :— 

"  The  national  character  and  that  of  Paris  is  well 
seen  at  the  present  moment.  Foolish  bluster  of  all 
sorts ;  neither  reason,  moderation,  nor  method  ;  re- 
bellion in  words,  and  not  a  soul  who  does  not  stand  in 
awe  of  a  corporal.  It  enters  no  one's  head  to  reason 
on  the  political  consequences  of  taxation,  on  the  means 
of  recovering  some  measure  of  political  liberty.  It  is 
the  taxes  themselves,  and  not  the  right  of  levying 
them,  that  people  think  about.  They  wish  for  legal 


resistance  without  considering  that  neither  the  nation 
as  a  whole  nor  any  constituted  authority  have  any 
political  right  of  opposition,  and  that  one  step  further 
will  land  them  in  revolt,  which,  however,  they  refuse 
to  contemplate." 

The  spirit  described  was  one  which  boded  ill  for 
the  impending  task  of  regeneration  and  reform.  As 
regards  Mallet  du  Pan  himself,  enough  has  been  said 
to  show  that  he  at  least  faced  the  convulsion  which 
was  to  bring  him  fame  at  the  cost  of  all  that  makes 
fame  worth  having  in  no  mood  of  levity  or  partisan- 
ship, but,  on  the  contrary,  better  equipped  by  study 
and  experience  than  almost  any  of  his  contemporaries. 
In  M.  Taine's  words : — 

"  In  1789  Mallet  du  Pan,  at  the  age  of  forty,  had 
already  passed  twenty  years  in  political  education. 
He  had,  all  his  life,  reflected  on  affairs  of  State.  From 
his  earliest  youth  he  had  deeply  studied  history,  inter- 
national law,  and  political  economy,  not  as  a  mere 
student  or  amateur,  but  as  an  original  thinker  and 
independent  critic.  Manners,  Governments,  and  Con- 
stitutions had  been  the  subject  of  his  close  personal 
observation,  for  he  had  lived  or  travelled  in  Switzer- 
land, France,  Germany,  England,  and  the  Low 
Countries.  ...  In  the  political  troubles  of  his  own 
country,  he  had  been  able  to  gauge  the  conditions  of 
liberty,  its  benefits  and  its  dangers  ;  ...  he  had  been, 
moreover,  not  merely  a  spectator,  but  an  actor.  .  .  . 
In  1789  he  knew,  in  short,  not  only  France,  but 




THE  assembly  of  the  States-General  was  the  signal 
for  an  extraordinary  outburst  of  journalistic  enterprise. 
During  the  previous  ten  or  fifteen  years,  as  we  have 
seen,  there  had  been  a  literary  eruption  of  no  small 
dimensions,  with  which  the  Government  had  endea- 
voured to  cope  partly  by  proscription  and  partly  by 
bribes.  Then  came  a  flood  of  pamphlets,  '  Merits  violents, 
bizarres,  anarchiques^  in  which  the  questions  of  the  day 
were  feverishly  discussed  ;  but  the  States-General  had 
hardly  met  before  a  crowd  of  new  papers  appeared  as 
if  by  enchantment,  led  by  Brissot  with  his  Patriote 
Fran$ais,  and  by  Mirabeau  with  his  A  tats  Ge'ne'ra-ux,  his 
Lettres  &  ses  Commettants,  and  finally  with  the  famous 
Courier  de  Provence, — an  advance  guard  which  soon 
forced  the  barrier  of  the  censorship  and  established  the 
liberty  or  licence  of  the  press. 

From  May  1789  to  May  1793,  "from  the  dawn  of 
freedom  to  the  night  of  the  Terror,"  says  Hatin,  "  no 
less  than  one  thousand  papers  or  writings  in  journalistic 
form  saw  the  light,  and  it  is  impossible  to  exaggerate 
their  influence  in  spreading  the  new  doctrines  through- 
out the  country  ". 


Among  this  mass  of  new  papers,  monthly,  weekly 
and  daily,  royalist  and  popular,  which  proclaimed  truth 
or  disseminated  poison,  the  Mercure  under  Mallet  du 
Pan,  described  by  Mirabeau  himself  as  '  le  plus  habile 
et  le  plus  r&pandu  des  journauxj  stands  alone  and 
apart,  representing  with  a  consistency,  courage  and 
force  which  grew  with  each  month  of  its  three  years' 
existence  the  opinions  of  the  smallest,  the  wisest,  and 
the  most  unpopular  of  the  parties  of  the  Assembly. 
It  was  not  however  till  after  the  fall  of  the  Bastille, 
when  the  censorship  was  formally  abolished,  that  any 
political  comment  appeared  in  its  pages.  Mallet  du 
Pan  was  one  of  the  few  observers  who  approached  the 
consideration  of  the  Revolution  armed  with  experience 
and  knowledge  but  without  the  prepossession  of  party 
or  system.  One  conviction  indeed  he  had  formed,  a 
belief  in  a  "  mixed "  system  of  government  in  which 
monarchy  and  aristocracy  were  tempered  by  popular 
representation;  and  it  is  characteristic  that  his  contri- 
bution to  the  controversies  preceding  the  opening  of 
the  States-General  was  an  attempt,  by  publishing  a 
series  of  articles  on  Delolme's  account  of  the  British 
Constitution,  to  explain  and  popularise  such  a  system, 
and  to  combat  the  prejudice  that  liberty  was  to  be 
found  only  in  pure  democracy.  His  warnings  were 
soon  justified.  Both  in  the  theory  and  the  practice 
of  parliamentary  government  France  had  everything 
to  learn  from  England.  The  tedious  discussions  on 
the  Rights  of  Man  and  the  constant  appeal  to  the 
teachings  of  Rousseau  drew  from  Mallet  du  Pan 
a  demonstration  of  the  incompatibility  of  that 
great  writer's  ideas  with  the  very  existence  of  the 
Assembly  : — 


"  The  English  people,"  said  Rousseau,  "  think  they 
are  free,  but  they  are  much  mistaken.  They  are  free 
only  during  the  election  of  the  members  of  Parliament ; 
once  elected  they  are  slaves,  they  are  nothing.  The 
absurd  idea  of  representation  is  modern,  and  descends  to 
us  from  the  iniquitous  days  of  feudal  government." 
"Rousseau,"  adds  Mallet,  "judged  Englishmen  slaves 
because  their  government  is  representative  ;  therefore 
every  represented  population  must  likewise  be  slaves. 
The  authority  of  Rousseau  is  thus  inadmissible  in  an 
assembly  of  delegates  of  the  people.  That  celebrated 
writer  persisted  to  the  end  of  his  life  in  his  aversion 
to  representative  government,  and  wrote  that  he  saw 
no  mean  between  the  most  austere  democracy  and  the 
most  complete  Hobbism." 

Mallet  du  Pan  often  returned  to  the  political 
result  of  Rousseau's  doctrine  of  the  Volonte  Gdndrale 
on  the  progress  of  the  Revolution.  He  showed,  for 
instance  (in  September  1791),  how  the  attribution  of 
effective  sovereignty  to  the  people  with  constitutional 
powers  dependent  solely  on  their  will  had  produced 
an  irresistible  democratic  influence  side  by  side  with 
the  representative  regime.  He  contrasted  with  this  the 
wisdom  of  the  English  principle  by  which,  since  the  days 
of  the  Long  Parliament,  the  sovereignty  was  held  to 
reside  in  Parliament  consisting  of  the  King  and  the  two 
Houses,  the  people  retaining  only  the  choice  of  their  re- 
presentatives. The  difference  between  the  two  theories 
was  fundamental,  as  Mallet  was  never  tired  of  insisting, 
and  by  it  alone,  as  he  was  perhaps  the  first  to  perceive, 
can  the  course  which  the  Revolution  took  be  explained. 

The  conduct  of  business  in  the  Assembly  was  a 
point  equally  inviting  appeal  to  English  experience. 
Mirabeau,  scandalised  by  the  anarchy  of  its  proceedings, 


had  laid  on  the  table  a  code  which  had  been  furnished 
to  him  by  Romilly  embodying  the  practice  of  the 
British  Parliament,  and  Mallet  du  Pan  in  the  Mercure 
frequently  drew  attention  to  such  points  as  the  proper 
function  of  parliamentary  committees,  and  the  authority 
of  the  Speaker.  What  chance  such  representations 
had  of  attention  may  be  gathered  from  Dumont's  ob- 
servation that  when  Brissot  spoke  of  the  constitution, 
his  constant  phrase  was  '  Voila  ce  qui  a  perdu  £ Angle- 
terre ! '  and  that  Sieves,  Duport,  Condorcet,  Garat  and 
others  had  exactly  the  same  prejudices  against  English 
example.  'Nous  ne  somntes  pas  Anglais,  et  nous 
riavons  pas  besoin  des  Anglais '  was  the  feeling  of  most 
Frenchmen.  Naturally  therefore  Mallet  du  Pan  was 
soon  out  of  court  as  an  anglo-maniac.  But  though 
he  believed  with  the  wisest  political  heads  in  France, 
with  Mounier,  Malouet,  Lally-Tollendal,  and  Mirabeau 
himself,  that  the  only  hope  for  the  country  lay  in  the 
endeavour  to  reconcile  representative  institutions  with 
a  strong1  monarchy,  he  was  as  far  as  possible  from 
being  a  doctrinaire.  In  1789  he  wrote  that  it  would 
be  as  foolish  to  try  and  grow  sugar  canes  in  Siberia 
as  to  transplant  the  British  Constitution,  the  growth  of 
six  centuries,  to  France.  He  fully  recognised,  as  he 
said  later  when  accused  of  fanatical  admiration  for  the 
British  Constitution  and  the  two  chamber  system,  that 
the  materials  for  a  House  of  Peers  did  not  exist  in 
France,  and  he  only  discussed  it  for  an  instant  on  the 
extinction  of  the  three  orders  as  an  alternative  to  a 
single  chamber.  "  Whether  two  chambers,  or  three, 
or  a  hundred,  secured  the  benefits  which  all  France 

1  "  The  state  of  France,"  observed  Gouverneur  Morris,  "  requires 
a  higher-toned  government  than  that  of  England." 


desired  mattered  little."  Finally  he  had,  as  we  have 
seen,  been  deeply  impressed  by  the  levity  and  ignor- 
ance of  the  people,  the  outcome  of  a  despotic  system, 
by  "the  utter  prostration  of  morals,"  as  Gouverneur 
Morris  expressed  it,  "upon  which  crumbling  matter 
the  great  edifice  of  freedom  was  to  be  erected ; "  and 
some  years  later,  in  his  Considerations,  he  stated  that 
long  before  1789  he  had  become  convinced  that 
France  would  be  unable  to  bear  political  liberty 
without  thirty  years  of  preliminary  training. 

Such  then  were  the  misgivings  he  entertained, 
but  it  is  certain  that  he  was  surprised  and  favourably 
impressed  by  the  energy  and  seriousness  of  the  Tiers 
etat,  and  by  the  universal  desire  for  a  Constitution. 
No  one,  he  said,  desired  in  a  more  ardent  and  dis- 
interested spirit  than  himself  the  success  of  the  noble 
enterprise  in  which  King  and  people  seemed  to  be 
united.  Sanguine  and  enthusiastic  he  was  not,  but 
the  role  of  Cassandra  was  far  from  being  natural  or 
congenial  to  one  of  his  vigorously  combative  nature, 
and  it  was  in  no  spirit  of  mere  critical  aloofness  that  he 
prepared  to  take  his  share  in  the  work  of  regeneration 
the  necessity  of  which  no  one  saw  more  clearly  than 
himself,  or  that  he  witnessed  the  gradual  fulfilment  of 
his  forebodings.  He  set  himself  at  once  to  take  ad- 
vantage of  the  enfranchisement  of  political  journalism 
by  organising  the  Mercure  on  a  new  basis.  Again  he 
described  his  conception  of  his  duty  as  historian-jour- 
nalist or  "pioneer  historian".  Fact  disentangled  from 
verbiage  was,  he  thought,  what  history  would  one  day 
consult  and  what  the  public  required,  and  he  disclaimed 
the  pretension  of  supplying  opinions  which  every  citizen 
should  form  for  himself.  He  never,  indeed,  confined 


the  function  of  the  journalist  or  the  historian  to  simply 
recording  what  he  had  seen  or  heard.  As  time  went 
on  and  he  found  he  had  expected  too  much  of  the 
public,  he  refrained  less  and  less  from  the  energetic 
expression  of  his  own  opinions ;  but  in  the  early  days 
his  comments  were  both  sparse  and  brief,  and  he  trusted 
mainly  to  the  eloquence  of  the  facts,  documents  and 
proofs  with  which  he  filled  his  pages.  A  great  feature 
of  the  Mercure,  not  found  elsewhere,  is  the  attention 
paid  to  events  and  opinions  in  the  provinces  where  it 
was  very  widely  circulated.  From  1 789,  says  M.  Taine 
who  quoted  freely  from  them,  some  hundreds  of  letters 
written  on  the  spot,  signed,  dated,  verified,  gave  Mallet 
regular  information  on  the  disturbances  in  the  provinces. 
In  1791  and  1792  there  were  forwarded  to  him  resumes 
and  extracts,  reports  of  the  local  administrations,  manu- 
script accounts  of  the  various  jacqueries,  details  and 
figures  and  authentic  documents  now  to  be  found  in 
the  National  Archives. 

But  his  analysis  of  the  debates  of  the  two  Assemblies 
upon  which  the  attention  of  Europe  was  concentrated  for 
the  next  three  years  was  the  work  which  gave  its  celebrity 
to  the  Mercure,  and  was  the  real  foundation  of  its  author's 
reputation.  Mallet  did  not,  indeed,  give  detailed  reports 
on  every  occasion  such  as  those  by  which  Maret,  the 
future  Due  de  Bassano,  first  made  a  name  in  \heMoniteur, 
nor,  on  the  other  hand,  fanciful  or  rhetorical  descriptions 
such  as  those  which  Garat  confesses  to  have  supplied  to 
the  Journal  de  Paris.  But  he  regularly  attended  the 
sittings  of  the  Constituent  and  Legislative  Assemblies 
and  composed  the  analysis  of  the  debates,  reporting  at 
length  what  he  thought  useful  or  necessary  and  in  all 
cases  bringing  out  the  salient  points  of  the  discussion. 


He  prided  himself,  as  we  know,  on  the  amplitude,  the 
impartiality,  and  the  exactness  of  this  analysis.  "It  was 
read  throughout  Europe,"  says  Lally-Tollendal,  "as 
a  model  of  luminous  and  impartial  discussion."  "In 
it,"  reports  another  contemporary,  Gentz,  the  Prussian 
publicist,  "is  to  be  found  the  character  of  the  Revolu- 
tion painted  in  colours  more  faithful  and  more  living 
than  those  employed  by  any  other  writer  of  the  time." 
"  He  was  the  only  writer,"  says  Sainte-Beuve,  "  whose 
analysis  of  these  great  debates  was  free  from  either 
insult  or  flattery."  "His  reports,"  says  Taine,  "  are  the 
only  ones  which  are  at  once  truthful  and  intelligent." 

The  success  of  the  paper  was  immediate.  It  offered, 
as  Chateaubriand  has  remarked,  a  singular  contrast,  that 
of  being  violently  revolutionary  in  the  literary  portion 
and  energetically  conservative  in  the  political ;  but  the 
latter  portion  was  of  so  much  the  greater  interest  that 
it  was  not  long  before  it  encroached  on  the  space  re- 
served for  literature  and  absorbed  half  of  it. 

Much  had  already  happened  to  fill  with  sombre 
anticipations  a  man  of  its  editor's  temper  ;  the  disastrous 
struggle  which  caused  dissension  of  evil  omen  for  the 
future  and  ended  in  the  establishment  of  the  National 
Assembly,  the  intrigues  of  the  Queen  and  the  Comte 
d'Artois  which  had  led  to  the  dismissal  of  Necker,  his 
triumphant  return,  and  the  incidents  connected  with  the 
fall  of  the  Bastille.  By  the  end  of  July  Gouverneur 
Morris,  the  American  Minister,  whom  Taine  classes  with 
Rivarol,  Malouet  and  Mallet  du  Pan  as  one  of  the  four 
most  competent  observers  of  the  Revolution,  remarked 
that  France  was  as  near  anarchy  as  a  society  could 
be  without  dissolution,  and  deplored  that  the  National 
Assembly  had  "all  that  romantic  spirit  and  those  ro- 


mantic  ideas  of  government  which,  happily  for  America, 
we  were  cured  of  before  it  was  too  late  ". 

It  was  not  until  August,  however,  that  the  battle 
upon  which  the  course  of  the  Revolution  turned  was 
seriously  joined,  and  that  the  great  discussion  on  the 
reports  of  the  Constitutional  Committee  brought  face 
to  face  the  champions  of  constitutional  reform  on  the 
English  pattern  and  the  partisans  of  more  revolutionary 
measures.  At  this  time  the  liberal  Royalists,  Mounier, 
the  proposer  of  the  oath  of  the  tennis  court,  and  his 
allies  Lally-Tollendal,  Bergasse,  Clermont-Tonnerre, 
and  Virieu  were  enjoying  their  short  moment  of  favour 
in  the  Assembly,  and  Malouet,  the  sanest  and  most 
courageous  of  them  all,  had  endeavoured  to  organise 
a  moderate  party  comprising  the  majority  of  the 
Constitutional  Committee,  two  ministers  (the  Arch- 
bishop of  Bordeaux  and  the  Comte  de  Saint-Priest),  and 
a  number  of  moderate  members,  probably  the  majority 
of  the  whole  assembly,  headed  by  the  Bishop- Duke  of 
Langres.  During  August  and  September  this  party 
held  its  own  against  the  enterprises  of  the  democrats 
and  of  the  two  first  orders  ;  for  at  a  time  when  "  con- 
cord would  have  saved  them  all  and  France  with  them  " 
the  whole  of  the  nobility  and  part  of  the  clergy  repudi- 
ated all  association  with  the  moderate  reformers.  For 
these  two  months  Mallet  du  Pan,  who  saw  in  their 
efforts  the  only  hope  of  safety,  supported  their  cause 
and  supplemented  their  arguments  in  the  Mercure.  But 
their  fate  was  already  sealed  when  the  recommendations 
of  the  majority  of  the  Constitutional  Committee  in  favour 
of  the  royal  veto,  of  the  double  chamber  system,  and 
of  the  power  of  dissolution  by  the  King  were  rejected 
in  favour  of  a  Declaration  of  Rights  on  the  American 


model,  with  its  various  articles  including  the  suspensive 
veto,  the  single  chamber,  and  the  permanence  of  the 
Assembly.     The  scheme  which  had,  in  accordance  with 
the  demand  of  the  great  majority  of  the  cakiers,  been 
elaborated  by  the  most  capable  and  experienced  political 
students  in  France  was  never  even  discussed  as  a  whole, 
and  Mallet  du  Pan  vigourously  condemned  the  conduct 
of  an  Assembly  which  singled  out  one  or  two  leading 
points,  and  by  rejecting  them  destroyed  the  cohesion  of 
the  various  parts  without  which  a  "constitution  would 
be  a  monstrosity ".     The  power  of  the  veto  was  at 
once  seen  to  be  fundamental,  and  Mallet  was  not  ex- 
aggerating when  he  wrote  before  its  discussion  :  "It  is 
impossible  to  regard  without  terror  the  questions  raised 
this  week  in  the  Assembly,  upon  the  decision  of  which 
will  probably  depend  the  tendency  of  the  new  legislation, 
the  confirmation  or  the  loss  of  liberty,  public  security 
within  and  without,  and  the  authority  necessary  to  a 
great  monarchy  ".     The  inactivity  and  moral  cowardice 
of  some,  and  the  calculated  opposition  of  others  of  the 
royalist  majority,  who  imagined  that  the  very  extra- 
vagance of  the  innovations  would  work  its  own  cure 
and  bring  about  a  restoration  of  the  old  order,  and 
who,  by  their  dishonest  action  in  their  alliance  with  the 
revolutionary  party,  set  an  example  only  too  faithfully 
followed  by  the  extreme  right  all  through  subsequent 
French  history ;  finally  the  feeble  and  opportunist  sup- 
port by   Necker  of  the  suspensive  veto,  decided  the 
issue ;  and  with  the  veto  the  rest  of  the  constitutional 
proposals  fell  to  the  ground.     One  last  chance  remained, 
and  on  the   29th  September  Malouet,  the  Bishop  of 
Langres  and  Redon  were  deputed  by  a  large  number 
of  deputies  to  endeavour  to  persuade  the  King  to  re- 


move  with  the  majority  of  the  Assembly  to  some  place 
such  as  Soissons  or  Compiegne  at  a  distance  from  Paris ; 
the  first  of  many  such  proposals  which  might  have 
saved  the  monarchy,  but  the  execution  of  which  became 
increasingly  difficult  and  the  success  more  problemat- 
ical. They  repaired  to  Versailles,  and  Montmorin  and 
Necker  pressed  the  proposal  upon  the  King  who, 
fatigued  with  a  day's  hunting,  went  to  sleep  during 
the  council  and  only  awoke  to  put  an  end  to  the  dis- 
cussions with  a  simple  '  Non  I '  *  The  popular  party, 
alarmed  at  the  action  of  the  moderates  who  had  been 
at  too  little  pains  to  conciliate  them,  retaliated  by  the 
outrages  of  the  days  of  October  and  the  removal  of  the 
Court  and  the  Assembly  to  Paris.  Mounier,  who  had 
narrowly  escaped  with  his  life,  Lally-Tollendal,  and  the 
Bishop  of  Langres  were  the  most  distinguished  of  some 
twenty  members  of  the  party  who  completed  its  dis- 
comfiture by  their  resignation  and  flight.  "  Paris," 
wrote  Mallet,  "  would  have  stoned  them,  history  will 
avenge  them ! " 

Speculation  has  exhausted  itself  over  the  question 
whether  Mirabeau's  last  desperate  plan  of  counter- 
revolution might  or  might  not  have  saved  France  and 
Europe  from  the  reign  of  Terror.  Surely  here,  in  the 
earlier  and  worthier  period  of  the  Revolution,  is  a  far 
more  inviting  subject  for  conjectural  history,  if  only 
because  the  very  possible  success  of  the  early  Consti- 
tutionalists, whom  a  superficial  judgment  dismisses  as 
almost  unworthy  of  notice,  as  a  set  of  pedants  and 
anglo-maniacs,  would  certainly  have  prevented  the 
whole  series  of  catastrophes  which  culminated  in 

1  The  story  is  given  in  the  memoirs  both  of  Malouet  and  Mallet 
du  Pan. 


foreign  and  civil  war.  The  party  of  liberal  reform  is 
perhaps  the  only  one  during  the  whole  course  of  the 
Revolution  which  deserved  the  description  of  states- 
manlike, for  of  this  party  alone  can  it  be  said  that 
reform  upon  the  principles  advocated  by  its  members 
might  have  averted  revolution  by  founding  a  strong 
and  durable  polity.  Fail,  indeed,  they  did,  but  failure 
they  shared  with  every  other  party  which  survived  and 
succeeded  them.  And  it  is  a  hard  fate  which  caused 
them  not  only  to  be  hated  at  the  time  for  their  mod- 
eration and  foresight  both  by  Royalists  and  by  Re- 
publicans, but  to  lose  the  place  in  history  which  the 
fascination  of  horror  has  obtained  for  factions  even 
more  fleeting  than  themselves. 

To  enter  into  the  causes  of  their  failure  would  be 
beyond  the  province  of  this  volume ;  for  it  would  be 
to  discuss  the  course  of  the  Revolution  itself.1  But 
both  Mallet  du  Pan  and  Malouet  dwelt  on  one  or  two 
reasons  which  go  far  to  explain  the  ineffectiveness  of 
the  action  of  this  great  parliamentary  party.  One  was 
the  timidity  and  want  of  moral  courage  among  French- 
men of  all  classes  and  parties  which  is  perhaps  the 
most  striking  characteristic  of  the  revolutionary  era, 
and  which  is  inexplicable  until  the  paralysing  effect  of 
the  collapse  of  all  lawful  authority  among  a  people 

1  The  suddenness  of  the  collapse  of  the  monarchy  shows  how  true 
was  the  insight  which  led  Mallet  du  Pan  to  say,  in  speaking  of  the 
various  causes  assigned  for  the  French  Revolution,  the  quarrel  of  the 
Parliaments,  the  Assembly  of  the  Notables,  the  deficit,  the  ministry  of 
Necker,  the  assaults  of  philosophy  :  "  None  of  these  things  would 
have  happened  under  a  monarchy  which  was  not  rotten  at  the  core." 
The  moment,  in  fact,  had  arrived,  inevitable  in  every  despotism,  when 
an  incapable  ruler  was  called  upon  to  grapple  with  a  demoralised 


demoralised  by  despotism  is  appreciated.  The  reign 
of  Terror  began  in  men's  minds  with  the  fall  of  the 
Bastille.  The  '  Tais-toi  mauvais  citoyen  ! '  roared  at 
Malouet  in  the  Assembly  struck  the  keynote  of  alarm 
which  enfeebled  the  moderate  parties ;  it  showed  itself 
also  among  the  Parisians  afraid  of  the  court  and  the 
army,  among  the  country  people  afraid  of  brigandage, 
among  quiet  citizens  everywhere  afraid  of  violence, 
and  its  most  fatal  fruit  was  the  emigration  of  the 
natural  leaders  of  society  throughout  France,  which 
Mallet  from  the  outset  stigmatised  as  an  unfortunate 
political  blunder.  Hardly  less  significant  was  the  in- 
experience in  the  working  of  parliamentary  institutions 
already  referred  to.  Such  institutions  depend  for  suc- 
cess on  the  nicest  balance  of  forces,  and  on  moral  and 
traditional  qualities  only  to  be  acquired  by  generations 
of  practice  ;  on  ideas  of  party  cohesion  totally  wanting 
in  an  assembly  of  men,  thrown  together  without  pre- 
vious acquaintance  with  each  other,  divided  by  class 
prejudices  and  by  fundamental  differences  of  opinion, 
and  totally  devoid  of  that  wholesome  indifference  to 
logic  and  consistency  characteristic  of  English  poli- 
ticians. Malouet  reproached  himself,  and  his  words 
threw  a  flood  of  light  not  only  on  the  history  of  the 
Constituent  Assembly  but  on  all  subsequent  parliamen- 
tary history  in  France,1  for  the  exclusiveness  which 

1 "  Je  ne  veux  pas  dissimuler  ici  combien  cette  faute  de  ma  part 
(his  break  with  Mirabeau)  est  inexcusable,  ainsi  que  celle  que  j'ai 
commise  pendant  toute  la  dure'e  de  notre  Assemble,  de  rompre  ou 
d'eViter  toute  communication  avec  plusieurs  membres  influents  du 
parti  populaire,  que  j'ai  reconnus  dans  plusieurs  circonstances  beau- 
coup  plus  sages  que  les  opinions  auxquelles  il  se  laissaient  entrainer  " 
(M'emoires  de  Malouet,  L,  281). 


had  kept  him  apart  from  many  with  whom  he  might 
have  acted  for  the  common  advantage.  The  process 
of  disintegration  could  only  have  been  checked  by 
some  commanding  personality,  but  of  real  leadership 
there  was  none. 

Mirabeau  alone  could  have  led  the  party,  but 
Mirabeau  was  impossible.  The  greatest  figure  of 
the  Revolution  except  Bonaparte,  he  united  genius 
and  patriotism  with  degrading  faults  of  character. 
His  own  cry  of  regret,  perhaps  the  most  pathetic 
ever  uttered  by  a  public  man,  is  the  explanation  of 
the  contradiction  of  his  life — '  Combien  F  immoralite  de 
ma  jeunesse  fait  de  tort  a  la  chose  publique '.  The 
invincible  repugnance  of  the  world  was  shown  by  the 
fact,  noted  by  Morris,  that  he  was  received  with  hisses 
at  the  opening  of  the  States-General.  His  past  made 
him  enter  on  the  great  struggle  not  as  a  philosopher 
or  a  statesman,  but  as  a  malcontent  and  a  declasse. 
His  pecuniary  embarrassments  destroyed  his  personal 
independence  and  sold  him,  in  the  words  of  his 
enemies,  to  the  Court.  His  personal  ambition,  his 
want  of  temper,  his  necessity  for  self-assertion,  his 
"  insatiate  thirst  for  applause,"  led  the  great  orator 
to  endeavour  to  maintain  his  ascendency  by  thundering 
against  the  enemies  of  the  Revolution  and  inflaming 
popular  passion,  while  he  was  secretly  working  for 
the  cause  of  the  monarchy.  And  not  in  secret  only. 
He  clearly  saw  that  the  annihilation  of  the  executive 
power,  the  paralysis  of  administration,  would  deliver 
over  his  country  to  the  violence  of  foreign  enemies 
and  to  the  worse  misfortune  of  anarchy  at  home.  He 
turned  to  the  monarchy  as  the  only  anchor  of  safety. 
He  considered  that  to  restore  to  the  king  power  at 



least  equal  to  that  nominally  exercised  by  the  King 
of  England  was  the  only  way  to  avert  disaster.  His 
opposition  to  the  declaration  of  rights,  his  abstention 
from  the  work  of  the  abolition  of  feudalism  on  the  day 
of  the  4th  of  August,  his  contention  for  investing 
the  King  with  the  right  of  peace  and  war,  and  with  an 
absolute  veto  without  which  he  would  "  rather  live 
in  Constantinople  than  in  Paris  " ;  above  all,  his  effort 
to  induce  the  Assembly  to  give  a  seat  in  their  body  to 
the  ministers  of  the  Crown,  the  constitutional  pivot  on 
which  the  fortunes  of  the  Revolution  may  be  said 
to  have  turned ;  these  were  all  public  actions  which 
might  have  won  for  him,  not  only  the  confidence  of  the 
King  and  Queen,  but  also  the  support  of  moderate  men 
of  all  parties.  In  such  a  union,  under  such  leadership, 
lay  the  only  hope,  and  with  the  presumption  of  genius 
he  felt  and  proclaimed  that  he  was  the  only  man  who 
could  reconcile  the  monarchy  with  freedom.  Yet 
Morris  only  echoed  the  sentiment  of  the  best  men 
of  his  time  when  he  said,  "  that  there  were  in  the 
world  men  who  were  to  be  employed  but  not  trusted," 
"that  virtue  must  ever  be  sullied  by  an  alliance  with 
vice,"  "that  Mirabeau  was  the  most  unprincipled 
scoundrel  that  ever  lived". 

I  have  dwelt  at  some  length  on  the  efforts  and 
plans,  the  hopes  and  the  failures  of  the  liberal  royalist 
party,  because  Mallet  du  Pan's  adherence  to  it  is  the 
keynote  of  his  political  action  from  first  to  last.  Almost 
at  once  it  threw  him  athwart  the  main  current  of  the 
Revolution,  and  made  him  the  mark  of  persecution  at 
the  hands,  not  only  of  the  advanced  factions,  but  of 
the  pure  Royalists  with  whom  his  relations  were  of  the 
most  uneasy  description  all  through  his  career.  For 


the  moment,  however,  it  was  the  popular  party  who 
attacked  him. 

"It  was  no  doubt,"  writes  his  son,  "a  great  relief 
to  be  freed  from  the  galling  yoke  of  the  censorship ; 
but  although  the  tribunal  of  opinion  which  succeeded 
did  not  exercise  its  control  either  in  a  manner  so 
puerile  or  so  direct,  it  was  not  less  despotic  ;  and  in 
some  respects  much  more  fearful.  Public  opinion  had 
become  all  in  all ;  and  it  did  not  bear  sway  with  a 
gentle  hand.  The  popular  party,  who  then  prevailed, 
were  in  the  greatest  degree  impatient  of  contradiction, 
and  even  discussion,  in  matters  of  government ;  and 
my  father,  not  being  disposed  to  run  along  with  the 
full  tide  that  was  setting  in,  soon  became  an  object 
of  active  suspicion,  and  was  denounced  in  the  clubs 
as  an  aristocrat,  and  a  friend  of  the  old  Regime.  On 
the  other  hand,  the  moderate  party  in  the  Assembly 
eagerly  availed  themselves  of  the  influence  of  a  publica- 
tion conducted  by  a  man  of  talent  and  independence, 
and  of  which  the  circulation  was  more  extensive  than 
that  of  almost  any  other  political  work,  upwards  of 
12,000  copies  of  the  political  part  of  the  Mercure, 
consisting  of  three  and  a  half  sheets,  being  sold  weekly. 
The  court  and  the  ministers  likewise  caused  frequent 
communications  to  be  made  to  my  father,  through 
persons  attached  to  them,  with  a  view  of  correcting 
erroneous  opinions  and  misstatements  of  facts,  pro- 
ceeding from  the  Tribune,  the  clubs  or  the  press. 
Numberless  letters  were  addressed  to  him  from  the 
provinces,  either  with  a  view  to  publication  or  from 
individuals  menaced  and  oppressed  by  the  popular 
party,  who  requested  him  to  vindicate  their  conduct, 
and  solicited  his  opinion  as  to  the  course  they  were 
to  pursue.  Among  these  were  many  nobles,  who 
asked  his  advice  as  to  the  expediency  of  emigrating." 

Room  may  here  be  found  for  some  further  recollec- 


tions  of  Mallet's  son,  who  had  returned  in  August,  1789, 
from  his  school  in  England,  and  has  recorded  his  impres- 
sions of  the  time,  the  impressions  of  a  boy  of  fourteen. 

"  I  remained  the  ensuing  autumn  and  winter  with 
my  family ;  and  soon  after  my  arrival  went  to  see  the 
remains  of  the  Bastille,  then  crowded  from  morning 
to  night  with  visitors,  exulting  over  its  ruins.  I  also 
well  remember  the  5th  of  October  and  the  scenes  that 
ensued  ;  the  crowds  of  people  returning  from  Versailles 
in  a  state  of  frightful  excitement ;  the  Poissardes 
parading  the  streets  in  their  red  cottons  and  white 
caps,  with  large  nosegays  in  their  breasts,  asking 
money  at  all  the  respectable  houses  with  an  air  and 
tone  that  would  have  made  it  very  unsafe  to  hesitate 
in  complying  with  their  demands.  I  also  remember 
the  queues,  as  they  were  called,  at  the  bakers'  shops. 
For  although  the  French  Government  makes  it  a 
special  object  of  administration,  in  times  of  scarcity, 
to  provide  at  any  cost  for  the  supply  of  Paris,  the 
bakers'  shops  are  fearfully  crowded,  and  the  deliveries 
of  bread  a  long  and  tedious  process.  These  shops,  be 
it  observed,  are  all  protected  by  heavy  iron  bars  in  front. 
As  early  as  three  o'clock  in  the  morning  people  began  to 
secure  their  places,  and  the  crowds  gradually  increased 
till  the-street  in  front  of  the  shop  was  filled.  Then  the 
pushing  and  scrambling  and  screaming  when  the  loaves 
came  out  was  truly  frightful ;  and  this  every  day ! " 

The  following  passages  give  us  almost  the  only 
glimpse  into  the  actual  life  of  the  writer  during  these 
stirring  times  which  we  possess  :— 

"An  Italian  Opera  had  been  established  at  Paris 
in  a  small  theatre  not  far  from  our  home  where  the 
agreeable  compositions  of  Paesiello  and  Cimarosa  were 
heard  in  great  perfection.  It  was  seldom  crowded,  and 
my  father,  who  delighted  in  Italian  music  and  found  it 
a  more  complete  relief  from  his  occupations  than  either 


society  or  the  play,  often  went  there,  and  not  unfre- 
quently  took  us  with  him. 

"  Mounier,  Malouet,  Clermont-Tonnerre,  the  minis- 
ter Montmorin,  and  Vicq  d'Azyr,  the  Queen's  physician, 
were  some  of  the  principal  persons  with  whom  my 
father  was  in  habitual  communication  at  Paris,  and 
I  had  acquired  enough  of  English  sentiments  and 
opinions  to  attend  with  great  eagerness  and  interest 
to  the  animated  discussions  which  took  place  at  our 
house.  After  the  removal  of  the  Assembly  to  Paris, 
the  deputies  with  whom  he  was  acquainted  often  came 
late  in  the  evening  to  talk  over  the  day's  debate ;  and 
the  apartment  in  which  I  slept  having  a  door  opening 
into  the  drawing-room,  I  was  allowed  as  a  great  favour 
to  keep  it  ajar,  and  used  to  sit  up  in  bed  till  a  very  late 
hour,  with  my  ears  stretched  to  the  utmost,  catching 
what  I  could  of  the  animated  conversation  in  the 
drawing-room.  I  remember  on  one  occasion  Malouet 
coming  in  very  much  agitated  :  he  had  been  assailed 
and  insulted  by  the  populace,  in  consequence  of  some 
opinion  he  had  expressed  and  had  exhibited  a  pair  of 
pistols  which  he  always  carried  in  his  waistcoat  pockets. 
The  government  of  Paris,  and  indeed  of  the  whole 
country,  had  not  then  been  transferred  to  the  sections 
and  the  clubs ;  and  I  did  not  therefore  witness  any 
of  those  visits  to  which  my  father  was  frequently 
subjected  at  a  later  period  from  the  patriots,  who 
figured  in  the  scenes  of  the  loth  of  August  and  the 
2nd  of  September,  1792."* 

During  the  discussions  on  the  veto,  however,  four 
ruffians  had  called  on  Mallet  du  Pan  threatening  him 
with  their  pistols  and  telling  him  that  he  should 
answer  with  his  life  for  anything  he  wrote  in  support 
of  Mounier's  opinions.  His  answer  had  been  an 

1  Reminiscences. 


article  again  vigorously  defending  these  conclusions. 
Fresh  denunciations  and  visits  followed  upon  the  faith- 
ful account  which  he  alone  had  ventured  to  give  of 
the  outrages  of  the  5th  and  6th  of  October.  But  he 
never  until  a  much  later  date  mentioned  these  occur- 
rences in  the  Mercure,  though  he  signalised  the  growing 
spirit  of  persecution  by  the  phrase  :  "  It  is  with  sword 
or  rope  in  hand  that  public  opinion  now  issues  its  de- 
crees. Believe  or  Perish,  is  the  anathema  pronounced 
by  the  enthusiasts,  pronounced  in  the  name  of  freedom  ". 

The  flight  of  Mounier,  Lally-Tollendal  and  others 
of  the  liberal  royalist  party  after  the  days  of  October, 
though  explicable  enough  without  an  imputation  of 
personal  cowardice,  was  none  the  less  the  mistake  which 
parliamentary  secessions  have  usually  been  found  to  be. 
It  merely  weakened  the  moderate  opposition,  without 
rallying  public  opinion  as  the  retirement  of  the  whole 
royalist  majority  of  the  Assembly  might  conceivably 
have  done.  "  MM.  de  Clermont-Tonnerre,1  Mallet  du 
Pan  and  I,"  writes  Malouet,  "alone  remained  en 
Evidence"  and  upon  Malouet  in  the  Assembly,  as  upon 
Mallet  in  the  press,  fell  the  labour  of  representing  the 
opinions  of  those  deputies  who  continued  to  steer  a 
steady  course  between  revolutionary  excess  and  royalist 
exaggeration,  and  who  had  hoped  for  the  establishment 
of  a  well-balanced  constitutional  monarchy. 

The  break-up  of  the  liberal  royalist  party  and  the 
growing  cleavage  of  opinion  had  now,  however,  trans- 
ferred to  more  extreme  hands  the  real  leadership  of 
the  opposition  to  revolutionary  ideas  and  methods,  and 
during  the  next  eighteen  months  two  clearly  defined 

1Comte  de  Clermont  Tonnerre,  assassinated  on  the  xoth  of 
August  1792. 


parties  played  a  considerable  part  in  the  Assembly, 
that  of  the  Left,  not  yet  educated  up  to  the  level  of 
the  extremists,  led  by  Duport,  Charles  de  Lameth  and 
Barnave,  the  latter  one  of  the  most  interesting  and  at- 
tractive figures  of  the  early  Revolution  ; l  and  the  Right 
led  by  three  remarkable  orators.  One  of  these  was  the 
Abbe"  Maury,  the  shoemaker's  son,  whose  eloquence  had 
already  won  him  a  seat  in  the  Academy  ;  whose  splendid 
defence  of  the  clergy  against  Talleyrand  was  to  gain 
for  him  in  1794  the  great  object  of  his  wishes,  the 
cardinal's  hat ;  whose  restless  ambition  was  to  lead  him 
first  to  abandon  the  royalist  cause  for  Napoleon,  and 
then  to  abandon  Napoleon  only  to  find  a  miserable 
end  in  the  papal  prisons  in  1817.  He  had  courage, 
physical  vigour,  and  a  talent  for  improvisation  so  re- 
markable as  to  make  him  a  serious  rival  to  Mirabeau 
himself,  but  he  never  succeeded  in  inspiring  a  belief 
in  his  sincerity  equal  to  the  gratitude  evoked  for  his  real 
services.  Cazales,  a  young  officer  despised  by  the  nobles 
for  the  insignificance  of  his  family,  was  eloquent  but 
indolent,  and  the  Comte  de  Montlosier,2  one  of  Mallet's 
most  constant  friends,  was  a  man  of  great  ability  and 
of  elevated  character,  but  of  a  somewhat  mystic  turn  of 
mind,  and  well  described  as  one  '  qui  aimait  la  sagesse 

1  Mallet  du  Pan  tells  how  at  the  meeting  of  the  States  General 
Barnave  sought  out  Gouverneur  Morris  at  a  club  and  descanted  to 
him  for  an  hour  on  liberty,  and  ended  by  asking  him  what  he  thought 
of  these  principles.     "  '  Je  pense,  Monsieur,'  repondit  froidement  Mr. 
Morris,  '  que  vous  etes  beaucoup  plus  republicain  que  moi.'  " 

2  He  is  remembered  for  his  magnificent  apostrophe  to  the  assailants 
of  the  bishops.     "  Vous  les  chasserez  de  leurs  palais,  ils  se  refugieront 
dans  les  chaumieres  ;  vous  les  oterez  leurs  croix  d'or,  ils  en  prendront 
une  de  bois ;  et  souvenez-vous  que  c'est  une  croix  de  bois  qui  a  sauve" 
le  monde !  " 


avec  folie  et  la  moderation  avec  transport '.  None  of 
these,  however,  even  with  the  assistance  of  Malouet, 
more  of  an  official  and  administrator  than  a  parliamen- 
tary statesman,  were  the  men  to  lead  a  successful  con- 
servative resistance,  though  they  had  the  melancholy 
satisfaction  of  seeing  many  of  those  who  successively 
occupied  the  position  of  public  favourites  recognise  their 
wisdom  and  endeavour  too  late  to  follow  in  their  foot- 

Though  supporting  in  most  cases  these  royalist 
leaders  in  the  Assembly,  it  was  with  Malouet  that 
Mallet  du  Pan  formed  the  closest  ties  of  personal  and 
political  friendship  and  sympathy.  Driven  more  and 
more  into  the  position  of  simple  defenders  of  the 
monarchy,1  it  was  not  until  after  the  ruin  of  their 
cause  in  France  and  the  execution  of  Louis  XVI.,  for 
whom  they  both  felt  strong  personal  loyalty  and  who 
himself  sympathised  with  their  political  attitude,  that 
they  recovered  their  full  freedom  of  action  and  found 
occasion,  as  we  shall  see,  to  insist  afresh  on  the  neces- 
sity for  liberalising  monarchical  ideas. 

Meanwhile  Mallet  du  Pan  maintained  a  tone  of 
studied  moderation  and  restraint  in  his  comments. 
He  loyally  accepted  as  the  decision  of  the  nation 
the  defeat  of  the  constitutional  principles  which  he  had 
advocated.  "  The  principles  of  the  Revolution,"  he 

1  On  this  as  on  so  many  points  Gouverneur  Morris  expressed  the 
same  idea  as  Mallet  and  almost  in  the  same  words  :  "  A  Republican 
and  first  as  it  were  emerged  from  that  Assembly  which  has  formed 
one  of  the  most  republican  of  all  republican  institutions  I  preach 
incessantly  respect  for  the  Prince,  attention  to  the  rights  of  the 
nobility,  and  moderation  not  only  in  the  object  but  also  in  the 
pursuit  of  it ".  Morris,  it  will  be  remembered,  was  one  of  the  dis- 
tinguished men  who  framed  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States. 


wrote  in  December  1789,  *  "have  become  the  law  of 
the  land.  They  were  imperiously  demanded  by  the 
abuses  of  every  kind  under  which  France  had  groaned 
since  the  reign  of  Louis  XIV.  To  attempt  to  oppose 
the  new  order  of  government  by  schemes  of  active 
resistance,  by  chimerical  ideas  of  counter-revolution, 
would  be  an  act  of  madness."  He  advocated  the 
taking  of  the  oath  to  the  constitution — the  serment 
civique — on  the  ground  that  no  individual  had  the 
right  to  oppose  his  own  will  to  that  of  the  Assembly 
legally  declared  with  the  sanction  of  the  King  ;  and  he 
remarked  on  the  danger,  "  in  our  present  terrible 
situation,"  of  giving  any  pretext  for  excess  or  persecu- 
tion by  the  least  violation  of  the  law.  Such  sentiments 
as  these  were  highly  distasteful  to  the  champions  of 
the  old  r&gime?  while  the  popular  party  could  not 
forgive  Mallet's  efforts  to  shake  their  complacency  or 
disturb  their  optimism  by  his  too  faithful  accounts  of 
intolerance  in  the  Assembly  and  of  growing  anarchy  in 
the  country.  He  was  thus  exposed  to  violent  and  scur- 

1  Mercure,  2nd  January  1790. 

2  Their  newspapers   conducted  an   opposition   of  ridicule   and 
epigram,  rather  than  of  serious  criticism.     The  Ami  du  Roi,  Petit 
Gaultier,  Actes  des  Apotres,  were  often,  as  has  been  said,  unreadable 
from  their  obscenity  when  not  from  their  dulness.     Their  chief  con- 
tributors were  Peltier  a  mere  mercenary,  and  Rivarol,  Champcemetz 
and  Mirabeau-Tonneau :   Bergasse,  Laraguais  and  Montlosier  con- 
tributed serious  articles  to  the  Actes  des  Apotres.  Mallet  du  Pan's  notion 
of  the  dignity  of  journalism  differed  considerably  from  that  of  these 
Royalist  and  Revolutionary  francs-tireurs.    "  La  meilleure  sauvegarde 
de  la  liber t£  de  la  presse,  le  plus  efficace  preservatif  de  son  dereglement, 
c'est  la  morale  des  auteurs,  non  celle  dont  on parle  ou  quon  imprime,  mat's 
celle  que  Fon  pratique ;    le  respect  religieux  de  la  liberte",  Fhonneur, 
f  habitude  de  la  d&ence,  et  cette  terreur  utile  qui  devroit  saisir  tout  homme 
de  Men  lorsque  sa plume  va  afficher  une  accusation  ou  repandre  un  systeme." 


rilous  attacks  from  both  the  parties  which  for  different 
reasons  were  interested  in  perpetuating  the  anarchy  of 
so-called  popular  rule.  This  double  resentment  he 
steadily  faced,  maintaining  on  the  one  hand  that  the 
exaggeration  of  democratic  principles  was  turning  into 
a  simulacrum  the  throne  which  alone  could  maintain  a 
great  empire  in  freedom,  peace  and  order,  and  on  the 
other  that  a  return  to  absolute  monarchy  would  only 
end  by  replunging  the  country  into  its  actual  condition, 
a  condition  into  which  it  was  the  most  terrible  reproach 
against  the  monarchy  to  have  brought  France. 

"No  one,"  he  asserted,  "had  had  more  reason  to 
welcome  the  advent  of  liberty  than  one  brought  up  in 
its  teachings,  who  had  all  his  life  detested  absolute 
monarchy.  But  to  love  liberty  a  man  must  have 
enjoyed  it,  to  recognise  it  amid  the  artifices  of  am- 
bition and  the  illusions  of  theory  he  must  have  wit- 
nessed its  excesses  as  well  as  its  benefits,  to  discern 
its  limits  he  must  have  learnt  by  experience  the 
dangers  into  which  a  state,  imprudent  enough  to 
force  the  barriers  which  law,  justice  and  wisdom  in- 
terpose between  the  power  of  a  people  and  its  obedi- 
ence, may  run."  He  therefore  declined  to  drift  with 
the  popular  current,  observing  '  Ce  n'est  pas  a  quarante 
ans  qu'un  republicain  sage,  qui  en  a  traine  vingt  dans 
les  tempetes  politiques,  se  rendra  le  complice  des 
fureurs  de  qui  que  ce  soit '. * 

He  persisted  on  the  contrary  in  his  tdche  accablante, 
that  of  publishing  the  debates  at  which  he  assisted  and 
the  facts  which  reached  him  and  which  he  carefully 
verified,  and  of  so  endeavouring  to  create  a  public 
conscience  as  to  the  "cowardly  war"  which  was  being 

1  Mercure,  23rd  January  1790. 


waged  on  persons  and  property.  His  reward  was  to 
see  himself  daily  misrepresented  and  defamed,  while 
the  most  criminal  papers  remained  unpunished.  ' '  While 
they  are  permitted  to  preach,  I  may  not  denounce 
murder  and  incendiarism." 

"  In  the  spring  of  1790,"  writes  his  son,2  "  my  father 
made  arrangements  to  quit  Paris  for  a  short  time,  and 
took  me  to  Geneva,  where  he  had  determined  to  place 
me  in  the  business  of  his  only  brother,  my  uncle  Mallet. 
He  was  received  on  that  occasion  by  the  most  distin- 
guished of  his  countrymen  in  a  very  flattering  manner, 
which  strongly  marked  the  opinion  they  held  of  his 
talents  and  independence  as  a  public  writer." 

On  his  return  two  months  later  he  gave  in  the 
Mercure  (loth  July  1790)  the  long-promised  resume 
of  the  year,  which  he  had  constantly  delayed  in  the 
hope  that  the  Revolution  might  have  run  its  course. 
"  Instead  of  this,"  he  writes,  "  we  are  still  suspended 
between  anarchy  and  liberty."  His  observations  show 
that  by  this  time  he  clearly  understood  the  character  of 
the  Revolution.  He  recognised  that  he  was  the  witness 
of  one  of  those  periodical  upheavals  in  which  the  same 
causes  reproduce  from  time  to  time  the  same  vicissi- 
tudes, '  triste  consolation  qui  reste  seule  a  une  generation 
souffrante '.  As  a  distinction,  however,  he  remarked 
that  unlike  previous  political  subversions  of  which 
the  mass  of  the  people  had  been  the  victims  and  not 
the  agents,  the  present  convulsion  reached  down  to 
the  very  roots  of  society,  which  had  been  swept  from 
its  foundations  and  which  it  only  now  remained  to 
attempt  to  reconstruct. 

1  Mercure,  April  1790.  2  Reminiscences. 


And  in  what  circumstances,  he  asked,  was  the  at- 
tempt to  be  made?  "Among  a  people  corrupted  by 
the  mean  vices  engendered  by  despotism,  amid  an  ex- 
cessive inequality  of  fortune  and  still  more  of  education 
and  talent,  with  books  which  substituted  enthusiasm  for 
reflection,  amid  a  chaos  of  morals,  rights  and  systems ! " 

A  month  later  occurs  a  passage  which  shows  at 
its  best  the  writer's  instinctive  prescience  of  coming 
events.  The  foreign  war  which  was  to  prove  the 
final  solvent  of  the  French  polity  was  already  casting 
its  shadow  before,  and  already  Mallet  du  Pan  combats 
its  approach.  A  debate  in  the  Assembly  had  revealed 
a  deep-seated  suspicion  that  the  powers  of  Europe 
were  plotting  a  counter-revolution.  After  some  re- 
marks, of  which  the  history  of  popular  government  too 
fully  confirms  the  truth,  on  the  danger  of  treating  foreign 
affairs  in  public  and  on  the  manner  in  which  suspicion 
itself  creates  the  reality  of  peril,  he  stated  his  opinion 
that  to  imagine  a  crusade  of  foreign  powers  against 
the  existing  constitution  was  to  look  for  trouble  in  the 
wrong  direction. 

"The  conspirators  to  be  feared,"  he  wrote,  "are 
those  who  by  threatening  Europe  may  actually  rouse 
her ;  they  are  the  preachers  of  insurrection,  the 
scribblers  who  insult  every  sovereign,  the  clubs  who 
teach  the  art  of  anarchy  and  public  calamity  scattering 
their  agents  through  every  empire  to  stir  up  trouble, 
murder  and  civil  war  in  the  name  of  philosophy,  the 
incendiary  sophists  who  incite  the  people  to  destroy  all 
authority,  to  punish  the  sovereign,  and  to  place  des- 
potic power  in  the  hands  of  the  multitude.  .  .  .  Such 
are  the  projects  which  will  force  sovereigns  into  action 
to  prevent  the  ruin  of  their  states ;  such  are  the  only 
reasons  for  alarm." 

NECKER  109 

The  resignation  in  October  of  the  once  idolised 
Necker,  the  man  to  whose  lot  it  had  fallen  to  initiate 
the  revolution,  whose  duty  it  was  to  guide  it,  was 
received  with  general  indifference.  Mallet  refused  to 
associate  himself  with  the  violent  strictures  of  Cazales 
on  the  fallen  ministry.  '  On  ne  viole  pas  les  tombeaux ' 
he  wrote,  and  he  proceeded  to  trace  the  self-efface- 
ment of  the  ministry  to  the  powerlessness  to  which  the 
royal  authority  had  been  reduced  by  the  constitution, 
and  to  argue  that  it  was  unjust  to  reproach  Necker 
for  not  leading  an  Assembly  which  refused  to  be  led, 
which  at  every  turn  insisted  in  giving  lessons  to  its 
instructor.  The  finances  could  not  be  re-established 
when  anarchy  was  universal  and  authority  non-exist- 
ent, without  credit,  taxes,  or  public  confidence.  But 
although  it  was  "as  unjust  to  accuse  him  of  the  ruin 
of  the  finances  as  of  the  loss  of  the  battle  of  Ramillies," 
Necker  undoubtedly  showed  himself,  as  Morris  ob- 
served, a  very  poor  financier  with  his  hocus  pocus 
of  borrowing  from  the  caisse  cCescompte,  his  farce  of 
the  "  patriotic  contribution,"  his  feeble  handling  of  the 
question  of  the  assignats.  Mallet  du  Pan  admitted 
that  "he  had  innocently  provoked  almost  all  the  mis- 
fortunes he  deplored,"  that  he  was  the  "  constant  victim 
of  illusion,"  that  he  was  "as  inferior  to  circumstances 
as  he  was  irreproachable  in  his  intentions "  ;  and  he 
remarked  on  the  curious  fatality  that  the  only  occasion 
on  which  his  advice  had  been  followed  was  when  he 
had  declared  against  the  royal  veto,  although  convinced 
by  Mounier's  arguments.  One  of  his  earliest  and  most 
fatal  mistakes  had  been  his  haughty  reception  of  Mira- 
beau  at  the  meeting  which  Malouet  had  arranged  be- 
tween them.  Necker  had  a  habit  of  tilting  his  head 


upwards  and  fixing  his  eyes  on  the  ceiling  in  moments 
of  special  embarrassment,  so  that  the  angle  at  which 
he  held  his  head  was  considered  a  thermometer  of 
the  political  situation.  It  was  in  this  attitude  that  he 
received  the  suggestion  that  he  should  meet  Mirabeau, 
and  when  Mirabeau  arrived  he  coldly  asked  him  what 
proposals  he  had  to  make.  Mirabeau,  scenting  insult, 
replied,  "  My  proposal  is  to  wish  you  Good  morning,", 
and  left  the  room  ;  and  going  up  to  Malouet  in  the 
Assembly  angrily  ejaculated,  '  Votre  homme  est  un  sot, 
il  aura  de  mes  nouvelles ! '  He  faithfully  kept  his 
promise,  and  during  the  months  in  which  Necker 
lingered  ineffectively  and  disastrously  on  the  political 
scene,  had  no  words  strong  enough  to  express  his  con- 
tempt for  him  as  a  minister  and  a  financier. 

If  Mallet  du  Pan  was  too  indulgent  in  his  estimate 
of  Necker,1  he  must  certainly  be  considered  to  have 
been  harsh  and  impolitic  in  his  judgment  of  Mirabeau. 
His  treatment  indeed  of  this  great  man  and  of  the 
only  two  other  men  of  genius,  Danton  and  Bonaparte, 
produced  by  the  tremendous  upheaval  of  the  revolu- 
tionary era,  illustrates  the  limitation  of  a  contemporary 
historian,  limitations  of  which  he  showed  himself  con- 
scious when  he  said  '  Rarement  voit-on  juste  les  objets 
pendant  Forage*.  His  criticism  of  Bonaparte,  whose 
mission,  that  of  evolving  order  out  of  chaos,  he  at  least 
discerned,  we  shall  notice  in  its  place.  In  Danton,  of  the 
three  the  least  entitled  to  the  praise  of  statesmanship, 
destroyer  of  the  old  order  and  creator  of  an  executive 
in  its  place  which  in  the  hands  of  others  brought  about 

1  Lady  Blennerhassett,  however,  seems  to  reckon  him  among 
Necker's  severest  critics.  He  certainly  never  utters  an  appreciative, 
hardly  a  civil,  word  of  Madame  de  Stael. 


the  end  of  civil  government  in  the  awful  supremacy 
of  the  guillotine,  Mallet  du  Pan  excusably  beheld  only 
one  of  the  most  ruthless  and  unscrupulous  enemies  of 
European  social  order ;  but  it  is  impossible  to  acquit 
him  of  blindness  to  Mirabeau's  immense  superiority 
among  his  contemporaries  as  a  champion  of  the  ideas 
which  he  himself  had  most  at  heart.  It  would  be  diffi- 
cult to  point  out  in  the  pages  of  the  Mercure  any 
expression  of  sympathy  with  Mirabeau's  objects,  still 
less  with  his  methods.  Even  the  words  in  which  he 
records  his  death  are  studiously  cold :  "  It  is  no  ordinary 
man  whose  memory  thus  excites  a  storm  of  contrary 
opinions  and  the  regrets,  not  only  of  his  adherents,  but 
also  of  a  portion  of  the  minority  who  founded  their 
hopes  on  the  secret  views  of  the  great  party  leader." 
It  is  unnecessary  to  seek  for  the  private  reasons  which 
as  we  know  Mallet  du  Pan  had  like  so  many  others 
for  distrusting  Mirabeau.  Even  Malouet,  who  from 
the  first  appreciated  his  political  genius,  never  brought 
himself  until  the  closing  scenes  to  co-operate  with  him, 
though  he  bitterly  reproached  himself  in  later  days  for 
breaking  off  his  intercourse  with  him  after  the  failure 
of  his  first  advances.  Mallet  du  Pan  was  of  a  more 
uncompromising  temper,  and  he  made  no  attempt  to 
overcome  the  repugnance  which  Mirabeau's  character 
excited  in  him.  Distinctions  between  the  ' grande* 
and  the  'petite  morale'  between  public  and  private 
conduct,  only  aroused  his  contempt,  and  he  was  too 
straightforward  to  be  able  to  make  allowances  for  the 
ambiguities  which  appeared  in  Mirabeau's  political 
conduct.  For  the  great  orator  never  ceased  to  pursue 
two  imcompatible  aims,  the  desire  for  ministerial  place 
and  the  love  of  popularity.  Mallet  du  Pan  though,  as 


we  know  from  his  private  journal,  he  was  aware  of 
Mirabeau's  later  advances  to  the  Court,  was  of  course 
not  acquainted  with  the  masterly  series  of  Notes  pub- 
lished a  generation  later  in  the  correspondence  with 
the  Comte  de  la  Marck  upon  which  his  real  title  to 
statesmanship  depends.  It  was  therefore  chiefly  from 
Mirabeau's  conduct  in  the  Assembly,  his  democratic 
violence  of  manner,  and  his  constant  appeal  to  revolu- 
tionary passions,  that  Mallet  who  watched  and  followed 
the  debates  had  to  judge  of  his  wisdom  as  a  leader. 

As  the  leading  member  of  the  diplomatic  Com- 
mittee and  virtual  Foreign  Minister  from  July  1790 
till  his  death,  Mirabeau's  conduct  was  marked  by  real 
wisdom,  as,  for  instance,  in  the  debate  (August  25th 
1790)  on  the  observance  of  the  treaty  obligations 
incurred  by  the  family  compact  with  Spain,  which  he 
carried  against  the  more  violent  party  in  the  Assem- 
bly. Yet  his  wisdom  was,  as  Mallet  notes,  disguised 
by  ' tirades  pour  la  Galerie'  about  "liberty  realising 
the  dreams  of  philosophy  and  proclaiming  universal 
peace"  which  were  hardly  convincing  to  sober  minds. 
Another  comment  shows  how  greatly  Mirabeau  did  him- 
self injustice  and  damaged  his  credit  among  thinking 
men  by  the  extravagance  of  style  which  he  thought 
necessary  to  maintain  his  ascendency.  It  was  on  the 
proposal  the  following  day  (August  26th)  to  issue  two 
milliards  of  fresh  assignats  *  that  Mallet  wrote  :  '  //  est 
impossible  de  precher  avec  plus  de  vehemence  et  mains  de 

1  Mallet  du  Pan  knew  how  systems  of  currency  depend  on  con- 
fidence. "  S'il  y  a  de  doute  sur  le  succes  des  assignats,  la  cause  des 
assignats  est  perdue.  II  n'est  pas  permis  de  hasarder  le  sort  de  ses 
concitoyens,  et  le  devoir  des  legislateurs  est  de  prendre  le  moyen 
le  plus  sur." 


reflexion  le  projet  le  phis  injuste  .../<?  plus  affreux 
dans  ses  effets '.  As  events  turned  out  Mallet's  fears 
were  justified,  yet  we  know  from  Mirabeau's  twenty- 
first  letter  to  the  Court  how  clearly  he  recognised  the 
dangers  of  the  measures  which  he  advocated  as  neces- 
sary to  avert  imminent  bankruptcy,  and  how  inevitable 
he  thought  its  failure  would  be  were  Necker  retained 
in  office.  His  advice  was  taken  and  Necker  dismissed  ; 
but  Mirabeau  could  not  even  if  he  had  been  invested  with 
the  authority  of  a  minister  have  directed  the  financial 
administration  together  with  foreign  policy,  and  the 
desperate  expedient,  carried  out  without  the  safeguards 
which  alone  could  have  given  it  a  chance  of  success, 
failed  like  all  else  to  stem  the  tide  of  revolutionary 
ruin.  One  more  instance  is  worth  giving  to  show  how 
difficult  Mirabeau  made  it  for  moderate  men  to  work 
with  him.  On  the  2ist  of  October  1790  he  combated 
in  a  speech  of  the  most  sanguinary  violence  a  motion 
by  M.  de  Foucault  in  favour  of  the  old  flag  of  the 
French  monarchy.  '  Le  cceur  tresfroidet  Fceilincendie'' 
reports  Mallet,  he  mounted  the  tribune  from  which 
he  pronounced  with  studied  ferocity  a  speech  "  which 
might  well  have  been  delivered  le poignard a  la  main" 
and  which  excited  the  most  frantic  applause  from  the 
galleries  of  the  Assembly. 

It  was  indeed  not  until  within  six  weeks  of  his  death 
that  Mirabeau  made  his  final  choice  between  the  op- 
posing roles  of  tribune  of  the  people  and  servant 
of  the  King.  It  was  during  a  discussion  on  one  of 
the  proposals  to  forbid  emigration  and  confiscate 
the  property  of  e'migre's,  which  Mallet  compared 
with  Nero's  order  to  close  the  gates  of  Rome  before 
setting  fire  to  it,  that  Mirabeau  declared  that  he  should 


consider  himself  "released  from  every  oath  of  fidelity 
to  the  authors  of  so  infamous  a  declaration  "  ;  and  that 
when  interrupted  he  thundered  forth  the  retort  '  Silence 
aux  trente  Voix ! '  A  year  later  when  the  galleries  had 
usurped  the  prerogatives  of  the  representatives  of  the 
nation,  when  three  or  four  hundred  hirelings  without 
standing  or  political  existence  were  disposing  of  the 
destiny  of  twenty-five  millions  of  people  and  hounding 
the  country  into  war,  Mallet  du  Pan  pointed  out  how 
the  phalanxes  with  which  the  "  virtuous  "  Mirabeau  had 
maintained  his  ascendency  were  now  the  oppressors  of 
his  old  associates  in  the  Assembly,  "the  very  men  who 
had  deified  him".  If  Mirabeau  had  lived  to  carry  out 
his  plan  for  a  counter-revolution,  he  could  only  have 
succeeded  by  provoking  civil  war.  This  he  had  no 
doubt  decided  to  do ;  but  what  was  the  real  chance 
that,  with  the  half  support  which  was  all  the  Queen  and 
the  Court  ever  gave  to  those  who  would  have  saved 
them,  he  could  have  welded  together  the  conservative 
elements  remaining  in  France ;  that  he  could  have  se- 
cured the  adherence  of  the  provinces,  where  the  great 
mass  of  public  opinion  was,  down  to  the  close  of  the 
year  1791  as  Mallet  du  Pan  acknowledged,  under  the 
spell  of  the  Revolution  and  its  most  advanced  leaders ; 
that  civil  war  would  have  forestalled  and  averted  the 
foreign  war,  which  was  to  cause  the  triumph  of  the 
Jacobins  ?  Mallet  du  Pan  at  all  events  did  not  believe, 
any  more  than  La  Marck,  in  the  success  of  the  great 
scheme  of  which  he  had  been  kept  informed,  and 
writing  many  years  later  he  expressed  the  opinion 
that  Mirabeau's  death  had  saved  him  from  a  more 
tragic  end  ;  and  that  in  all  probability,  discredited  by 
his  apostasy,  he  would  have  served  as  a  fresh  example 


of  the  ruin  which  overtakes  those  who,  in  a  popular 
revolution,  draw  back  from  the  paths  of  unreason,  per- 
versity and  violence.  Whatever  the  arguments  may  be 
in  favour  of  the  possibility  of  Mirabeau's  plan,  upon 
which,  sullied  though  it  was  by  financial  obligations  to 
the  Court,  much  of  his  fame  as  a  statesman  must  rest, 
they  apply  with  tenfold  force  to  the  efforts  of  the 
liberal  Monarchists  of  1789  to  guide  the  Revolution 
into  a  channel  of  safety.  His  return  upon  himself  is 
a  signal  justification  of  the  foresight  and  wisdom  of 
their  views. 

Every  month  meanwhile  made  free  speech  more 
difficult  and  dangerous.  Classed  as  an  aristocrat 
Mallet  du  Pan  had  long  been  the  object  of  atroci- 
ous calumnies,  to  which  his  only  answer  had  been  to 
continue  his  work  in  the  lines  he  had  traced  out  for 
himself.  On  the  27th  of  November  1790  he  was  at  last 
moved  by  a  more  alarming  incident  than  usual  to  give 
an  account  of  the  various  measures  of  proscription  of 
which  he  had  been  the  victim.  A  few  days  before,  a 
mob,  excited  by  harangues  and  writings  which  desig- 
nated him  as  a  supporter  of  despotism,  gathered  in 
front  of  his  house  and  threatened  to  treat  it  like  the 
Hotel  de  Castries.  This  danger  passed,  but  ten  days 
later  a  deputation  of  fourteen  or  fifteen  men  from  the 
patriotic  societies  of  the  Palais  Royal  presented  them- 
selves in  the  courtyard  of  his  house  and  ordered  him 
to  cease  his  attacks  on  the  constitution.  A  quarter 
of  an  hour  of  most  curious  discussion  followed.  Mallet 
challenged  them  to  point  to  a  single  passage  in  the 
Mercure  in  which  he  had  defended  the  ancient  regime, 
he  strongly  vindicated  his  own  opinions,  and  told  the 
deputation  that  he  had  not  come  to  France  to  take 


lessons  in  liberty.  He  assured  them  that  they  might 
burn  his  house  or  drag  him  to  the  scaffold,  but  that 
they  should  never  induce  him  to  apostatize  as  they 
urged  him  to  do  and  write  in  favour  of  the  dominant 
opinions.  They  retired  apparently  impressed  by  his 
arguments  and  his  courage ;  he,  on  his  side,  testifying 
that  they  could  not  have  executed  their  odious  mission 
with  greater  propriety  of  demeanour.  In  telling  the 
story  he  took  occasion  to  state  in  a  more  complete 
fashion  than  he  had  hitherto  done  his  own  personal 
attitude  towards  the  Revolution,  to  affirm  his  approval 
of  a  movement  which  had  substituted  for  an  absolute 
monarchy  gangrened  with  abuses,  a  regular  and  legal 
government  of  which  the  King  had  laid  the  founda- 
tions ;  his  stern  condemnation  of  the  anarchy  which 
would  before  long  turn  the  sovereignty  of  the  people 
into  an  unlimited  despotism ;  his  admiration  for  the 
principles  of  the  British  Constitution,  the  only  princi- 
ples applicable  to  a  great  state  in  which  monarchy 
must  be  preserved,  principles  which  alone  could  re- 
concile the  rights  of  liberty  with  those  of  authority ; 
finally  his  haughty  repudiation  of  the  accusation  that 
he  had  been  bribed  to  support  the  cause  of  royalty. 
Shortly  afterwards  *  Mallet,  a  Protestant,  gave  fresh 
proof  of  his  intrepidity  and  of  his  independence  by  an 
article  condemning  the  treatment  of  the  French  clergy. 
It  had  been  decreed  in  November  1790  that  all  bishops 
and  curbs  who  did  not  take  the  oath  of  fidelity  to  the 
new  civil  constitution  of  the  Church  should  be  dismissed, 
and  the  result  was  the  schism  which  so  greatly  aggra- 
vated the  political  difficulties  of  France.  Opinions, 

1  Mcrcure,  i5th  January  and  23rd  April  1791. 

observed  Mallet,  would  always  be  divided  as  to  the 
necessity  of  the  sweeping  reform  which  had  been  oper- 
ated in  the  Church  in  France,  but  what  posterity  would 
indignantly  condemn  was  the  pitiless  persecution  to 
which  its  members  were  now  being  subjected  ;  the 
insults  to  which  they  were  daily  exposed  from  the  fury 
and  intolerance  of  the  public.  '  //  manquait  un  pheno- 
mene  a  notre  siecle,  celui  de  Catheisme  persecuteur" 
More  than  once  he  returned  to  the  subject  *  and  pointed 
out  the  disastrous  mistake  made  by  the  Assembly  in 
refusing  the  co-operation  of  the  clergy  which  would 
have  been  willingly  given  in  the  work  of  reform,  and 
in  driving  them  to  choose  between  their  duty  to  their 
conscience  and  their  duty  to  the  state. 

The  treatment  of  the  clergy  was  only  one  form  of 
the  intolerance,  "  that  incurable  leprosy  of  the  human 
heart,"  which  was  showing  itself  in  so  many  ways  in 
the  Assembly,  in  the  press,  and  in  the  theatres.2  The 
monstrous  inquisition  into  opinions,  and  the  trade  of 
the  informer  "  so  honoured  by  Sylla,  Tiberius,  Sejanus, 
Louis  XI.,  the  Long  Parliament  and  our  own  Comitd 

instance  in  the  Mercure  of  loth  September  1791. 
"  Quelques  Ecclesiastiques  scandaleux,  quelques  Abbes  dissipateurs, 
quelques  Cures  tracassiers,  n'empecheraient  pas  la  grande  pluralite 
des  pasteurs,  a  commencer  par  les  Prelats,  d'etre  aux  yeux  du  peuple 
des  magistrals  de  morale,  des  censeurs  respectables,  des  solliciteurs  de 
charites,  des  hommes  devoues  par  etat,  par  conscience,  par  habitude, 
par  interet  meme,  a  secourir  journellement  1'indigence  et  le  malheur. 
Quiconque  a  presente  le  Clerge  de  France  en  general  sous  des 
couleurs  diffe"rentes,  a  ete  le  plus  criminel  des  calomniateurs  ;  car  il 
a  detruit  pour  jamais  1'empire  inestimable  de  la  bienfaisance  inspired 
par  la  Religion." 

a  "  Les  spectacles  deviennent  aujourd'hui  inabordables  .  .  .  nul 
n'est  assure"  en  y  entrant  d'en  sortir  sain  et  sauf  "  (Mercure). 


des  Recherches"  became  a  constant  theme  of  melan- 
choly and  sarcastic  comment.  But  increasing  danger 
only  stimulated  the  editor  of  the  Mercure  to  speak  out 
with  greater  freedom,  and  to  insist  that  the  employment 
of  force  against  opinion,  of  violence  to  stifle  contra- 
diction, was  the  most  signal  proof  of  moral  weakness. 
Although,  as  he  said,  it  was  no  longer  permitted  to 
speak  of  the  legislature  save  in  the  language  reserved 
for  absolute  sovereigns,  he  never  relaxed  his  analysis 
of  the  debates  which  became  more  and  more  caustic 
and  trenchant,  until  with  the  Legislative  Assembly  it 
came  to  resemble  a  continuous  satire  of  the  proceedings.1 
It  was  treason  to  allude  to  the  thorn  in  freedom's  bed 
of  roses,  but  Mallet  continued  his  weekly  record  of 
crimes  perpetrated  in  her  name,  a  record  of  which 
Taine  and  other  writers  have  made  ample  use.  The 
recital,  unwelcome  to  many,  and  tedious  as  it  appears 
to  most  readers  at  this  distance  of  time,  was  yet  it 
must  be  remembered  an  essential  part  of  the  work  of 
a  contemporary  historian  anxiously  striving  to  collect 
evidence  as  to  the  course  of  events,  to  arouse  the 
conscience  of  the  people  against  excesses,  and  to 
preserve,  if  it  was  still  possible,  what  was  useful 
and  beneficial  in  the  Revolution.  The  task  indeed 
seemed  hopeless  enough  :— 

"The  tragedies,"  he  wrote  in  March  1791,  "which 
have  become  the  history  of  every  day  from  every  canton 

1  Without  however,  observed  Gentz,  losing  its  truthfulness,  as  a 
comparison  with  the  reports  of  the  Moniteur,  the  Logographe  and 
other  papers,  shows.  "  Mallet  du  Pan,"  he  wrote,  "  a  peint  avec 
fide'lite'  le  cote  tragique  des  evenements,  mais  il  y  a  des  temps  dont 
1'histoire,  malgre  leur  incontestable  horreur,  ressemble  tellement  a  une 
farce,  qu'elle  est  par  elle-meme  une  satyre  sous  la  main  de  1'historien." 


of  the  kingdom,  pass  unnoticed  in  Paris  amid  the  din  of 
operas,  of  ballets,  of  songs,  of  orgies,  and  make  equally 
little  impression  in  good  and  in  bad  company.  I  leave 
observers  to  draw  a  horoscope  from  this  formidable 
lethargy.  It  cannot  be  displeasing  to  the  partisans 
of  the  excesses  of  the  Revolution.  It  is  a  fact  that 
the  capital  is  in  a  strange  condition  of  ignorance  as 
to  the  real  situation  of  the  kingdom  and  of  the  pro- 

In  the  month  of  June  he  took  occasion,  in  publishing 
a  letter  from  Cahors  full  of  fresh  horrors,  to  make  a 
solemn  appeal  to  all  parties.  Remarking  on  the 
sanguinary  character  "  so  gratuitously  imposed  on  the 
Revolution,"  he  asks  : — 

"  Can  those  who  so  cunningly  engineered  these 
excesses  have  sounded  the  depth  of  the  soil  in  which 
they  were  planting  the  roots  of  anarchy?  Can  they 
have  foreseen  that  after  two  years  France,  with  all  its 
laws  and  its  tribunals,  its  magistrates  and  civic  guards 
bound  by  solemn  oaths  to  defend  order  and  public 
safety,  would  still  be  an  arena  in  which  wild  beasts 
devour  unarmed  men  ?  Ah !  how  Europe,  how  philo- 
sophy, how  every  friend  of  liberty  would  have  re- 
spected the  Revolution,  had  not  each  of  its  steps  been 
defiled  by  blood !  Ah !  that  its  insensate  leaders  had 
only  had  the  foresight  and  humanity  to  perceive  that 
when  the  first  crisis  had  been  decided  in  their  favour, 
the  part  of  patriotism  was  to  preserve  restraints  instead 
of  destroying  them !  Every  week  is  signalised  by  an 
assassination.  Les  cannibales,"  he  adds,  "  qui  ^crivent 
font  leur  metier  en  justifiant  les  cannibales  qui  coupent 
les  tetes  et  les  portent  en  triomphe ;  ces  deux  races 
d'hommes  sont  du  meme  sang." 

The  2ist  of  June  1791,  the  day  of  the  flight  to 
Varennes,  was  the  occasion  of  another  and  still  more 


formidable  domiciliary  visit  which  put  an  end  to  Mallet 
du  Pan's  labours  for  more  than  two  months. 

"  On  that  day,"  to  quote  his  own  account,  "  the 
section  of  the  Luxembourg,  without  any  legal  authority, 
sent  a  detachment  of  soldiers  and  a  commissioner  to 
my  house,  and  it  was  only  by  chance  that  on  my  way 
home  with  my  wife  I  heard  of  what  had  happened. 
On  a  day  of  so  much  excitement  prudence  dictated 
that  I  should  leave  my  house  in  possession  of  those 
who  had  made  themselves  masters  of  it.  They  ques- 
tioned my  servants  in  order  to  discover  my  where- 
abouts, and  several  of  them  announced  their  designs  of 
conducting  me  to  the  Abbaye  Saint-Germain,  the  new 
Bastille  which  has  witnessed  the  confinement  in  the 
course  of  two  years  of  more  innocent  persons  than  the 
old  one  had  received  during  the  whole  reign  of  Louis 
XVI.  The  deputation  examined  my  papers,  carrying 
away  and  transcribing  a  portion  of  them,  and  leaving 
the  rest  under  the  guard  of  a  couple  of  fusiliers." 

Proceedings  followed  before  the  Comite  des  Re- 
cherches  of  the  municipality,  and  it  was  only  after  a 
fortnight  that  Mallet  du  Pan  was  allowed  to  return  to 
his  house,  during  which  time  he  was  supposed  either  to 
have  been  imprisoned  or  murdered,  \tue  civiquement 
dans  la  Rue  Taranne^\  or  to  have  fled  to  Brussels  or 
Geneva.  "  Mallet  du  Pan,"  wrote  Brissot's  journal,  the 
Chronique  de  Paris,  '  afuicomme  un  roi\  This  paper 
raised  the  cry  for  proscription,  inviting  the  patriots  to 
hunt  down  the  aristocratic  newspapers.  "  From  this 
day,"  it  wrote  on  the  23rd  of  June,  "  we  shall  not  allow 
the  circulation  of  the  Ami  du  Roi,  nor  of  Mallet  du 
Pan,  nor  of  the  Gazette  de  Parts,  nor  of  the  Actes  des 
Apotres"  A  little  later  it  complained  that  the  pursuit 
had  slackened : — 


'  On  n'a  pas  meme  inquire  Mallet  du  Pan,  qui  se 
promene  au  Luxembourg,  entoure"  d'une  noble  escorte 
de  chevaliers  de  St.  Louis,  tous  ebahis  de  son  eloquence 
et  de  son  tendre  deVouement  a  1'esclavage ! ' 

This  highly  coloured  detail  is  all  we  have  of 
Mallet's  existence  at  this  time.  So  much  of  truth 
there  is  in  it  that  he  remained  in  Paris1  during 

1  The  following  sketch  by  Mallet  du  Pan's  daughter,  Madame 
Colladon,  gives  a  vivid  idea  of  the  anxieties  of  the  family  life  in  Paris 
during  these  years  : — 

"  Comprenez-vous  mon  enfance,  passee  aux  premieres  horreurs  de 
la  Revolution ;  ces  soirees  silencieuses,  ou  assise  a  cote"  de  ma  mere, 
sur  une  petite  chaise,  chaque  coup  de  marteau  de  la  porte  me  causait 
une  emotion,  pensant  qu'il  annon9ait  mon  pere  dont  1'attente  ne 
menait  a  rien  moins  qu'a  croire  chaque  jour  qu'on  nous  le  rame- 
nerait  assassine.  Ma  mere  ne  disait  rien,  et  moi  non  plus;  mais 
quoique  fort  jeune  (13  ans)  je  devinais  et  je  partageais  toutes  ses 
impressions.  Puis  cette  affreuse  scene  a  1'opera,  ou  j'entendis 
vociferer  ce  bon  Peuple  centre  les  Aristocrates,  et  crier  Mallet  du  Pan 
a  la  lanterne.  Un  signe  de  ma  courageuse  mere  nous  contient,  mais 
je  perdis  subitement  la  memoire,  et  le  sentiment  du  lieu,  et  de  ce 
qui  se  passait  autour  de  moi ;  et  il  fallut  bien  me  sortir  de  cette  loge, 
effraye  qu'on  etait  de  mes  questions  a  voix  basse.  Mile  Morillon, 
notre  amie,  me  fit  prendre  1'air  et  me  soigna  pendant  que  ma  mere 
restait  la  immobile.  Je  date  de  ce  jour  une  grande  partie  de  mes 
maux  actuels.  Puis  vinrent  les  affreuses  journees  des  5  et  6  Octobre, 
1789 — ce  roulement  lugubre  du  tambour — ces  Gardes  Nationales,  a 
jamais  execrables  pour  moi — ces  torrents  de  pluie — cette  consternation 
de  mon  malheureux  pere,  si  justifiee  par  1'eVenement — ces  tetes  portees 
au  bout  des  piques.  '  Plus  tard,  cette  fuite  du  Roi,  pendant  laquelle 
il  fallut,  en  hate,  fuir  nous  meme  notre  maison — nous  se"parer — nous 
cacher — les  uns  ici,  les  autres  la — et  ces  cris  de  '  Grande  Arrestation 
du  Roi  a  Varennes ! '  Ces  cris,  je  les  entends  encore ;  ils  viennent 
encore  me  troubler  jusqu'au  fond  de  Tame.  Enfin,  on  quitta  cette 
horrible  France,  et  lorsqu'arretes  dans  la  Diligence  a  la  sortie  de 
Paris  pour  criailler  Vive  la  Nation  /  ma  mere  s'empressait  de  le  faire, 
ainsi  qu'un  Monsieur  de  Lasaussaye,  ministre  Protestant  qui  fit  le 


these  two  months  while  the  existence  of  the  monarchy 
was  in  the  balance,  watching  we  may  suppose  the 
internecine  ravings  of  the  press  ;  of  Brissot,  Camille 
Desmoulins  and  Marat  on  the  one  hand,  who  re- 
echoed in  their  journals  the  sanguinary  threats  of  the 
clubs,  and  of  the  royalist  writers  on  the  other,  who 
subsidised  by  the  court  party  exhausted  themselves 
in  libellous  and  outrageous  sarcasm.  He  had  fully 
determined,  as  he  tells  us,  not  to  re-enter  the  arena  if 
the  monarchy  fell  in  name  as  it  had  in  fact.  No  one 
had  more  patiently  and  honestly  tried  the  appeal  to 
reason  and  argument  on  every  constitutional  and  polit- 
ical point  as  it  arose  than  he,  but  it  had  now  become 
clear  to  him  that  nothing  could  resist  the  torrent  of 
ignorant  fanaticism  which  had  overborne  all  idea  of 
moderation,  till  there  no  longer  existed  any  semblance 
of  public  opinion  in  France.  "  Nothing  is  more 
useless,"  he  wrote,  "  than  to  combat  the  revolutionary 
fever  with  sheets  of  paper  ;  On  ne  convertit,  on 
nadoucit  personne,  les  enthousiastes  sirritent  comme 
les  hydrophobes  lorsquon  leur  presente  le  remede" 
Nothing  was  more  futile  than  to  appeal  to  a  population 
debauched  by  the  most  shameful  of  all  wars,  a  war  of 
pamphlets.  '  Uecrivaillerie}  wrote  Montaigne,  '  est  le 
symptome  dun  siecle  deborde ; '  and  Mallet  du  Pan, 
who  often  quoted  the  aphorism,  traced  many  of  the 

voyage  avec  nous ;  il  me  fut  impossible  d'articuler  un  son,  on 
m'aurait  plutot  hachee  :  comme  j'e"tais  a  la  portiere  de  lavoiture,  cela 
fut  remarque" ;  et  le  danger  passe,  le  bon  Lasaussaye  me  gourmanda 
vivement.  J'avais  14  ans;  j'en  ai  55,  et  suis  la  m£me;  mes 
opinions  ont  £t£  fixe'es  pour  la  vie.  Si  j'aime  peu  le  Peuple — j'ai 
certes  mes  raisons.  Si  je  m'interesse  aux  descendants  de  Louis 
XVI,  c'est  pour  respect  pour  sa  me'moire." 


characteristics  of  the  Revolution,  the  unchecked  course 
of  outrage,  the  terror  which  had  frozen  courage,  the 
absence  of  generous  speech  and  strong  action,  to  the 
moral  effeminacy  caused  by  the  torrent  of  periodical 
literature  which  had  deluged  the  country.  "  Pamphlets 
were  the  arsenal  upon  which  the  oppressors  drew  to 
establish  their  tyranny,  while  the  oppressed  left  their 
vindication  to  the  printers,  and  readers  in  the  midst  of 
disorder  and  disaster  looked  upon  the  Revolution  only 
as  a  sham  fight  of  reasoning,  eloquence  and  invective." 
What  wonder  if  the  publicist,  convinced  that  the  issue 
would  be  decided  by  force,  had  declined  the  melancholy 
task  of  ploughing  the  sand,  or  that  he  should  have 
conceived  a  horror  of  the  profession  of  a  political 
writer  which  had  been  so  prostituted  by  those  who 
followed  it ! 

Considerations  like  these,  however,  set  forth  in  an 
article l  which  is  among  the  most  remarkable  of  Mallet 
du  Pan's  productions  for  its  dignity,  eloquence  and  ar- 
gumentative force,  were  finally  overruled  by  his  sense 
of  duty  to  his  subscribers  many  of  whom  had  given 
him  touching  proofs  of  their  esteem  and  attachment, 
and  by  his  generous  reluctance  to  abandon  the  remnant 
of  those  who  were  determined  to  exhaust  every  effort 
in  defence  of  the  King.  To  their  appeals  he  yielded, 

1 1  regret  the  impossibility  of  printing  this  article  as  it  stands, 
together  with  one  in  the  following  week,  in  defence  of  the  nobles  and 
clergy  (Mercure,  3rd  and  roth  Sept.  1791).  They  would  enable 
readers  to  form  an  opinion  of  Mallet's  style  as  a  journalist,  and  they 
paint  the  man  with  his  earnestness,  his  fire,  his  love  of  true  freedom, 
his  hatred  of  injustice  and  violence,  his  repudiation  of  the  idea  that 
a  bloody  revolution  was  necessary  to  put  an  end  to  the  abuses  of  the 
ancien  regime. 


not  without  a  taunt  at  the  expense  of  readers  who  ap- 
peared to  look  upon  a  journalist  as  a  servant  whom 
they  had  commissioned  to  defend  their  opinions  while 
they  took  their  ease  or  their  pleasure,  and  who  thought 
it  a  matter  of  course  that  a  man  should  devote  himself, 
at  the  risk  of  his  life,  his  liberty  and  his  property,  to 
turning  out  every  week  a  certain  number  of  pages  to 
amuse  them  '  durant  Iheure  du  chocolat  '.  For  six 
months  more  until  the  publication  of  his  opinions 
became  a  physical  impossibility  did  he  struggle  on, 
and  well  did  he  fulfil  his  promise  that  "as  long  as 
he  was  allowed  to  hold  a  pen,  he  would  ennoble  it 
by  steady  perseverance  in  the  paths  of  truth  and 
justice  ". 

The  events  which  preceded  and  followed  the  flight 
of  the  royal  family  on  the  2ist  of  June  had,  in  reality, 
destroyed  the  last  chance  of  a  restoration  of  constitu- 
tional authority  to  the  Monarch.  It  was  in  May  that 
Robespierre  had  succeeded,  with  the  assistance  of 
course  of  the  Right,  in  carrying  his  crafty  motion 
for  the  exclusion  of  the  members  of  the  Constitu- 
tional Assembly,  '  athletes  vigour eux  mats  fatigues '  as 
he  described  them  in  his  sentimental  jargon,  from 
becoming  members  of  the  second  legislative  Assembly 
which  was  to  meet  in  September.  This  decision, 
which  excluded  the  experienced  moderate  members 
from  participation  in  public  affairs,  while  it  allowed 
the  extremists  to  continue  and  increase  their  political 
activity  in  the  clubs  and  municipality,  immensely  ac- 
celerated the  march  of  the  Revolution.  For  in  the 
expiring  Assembly  the  moderate  party  had  been  grow- 
ing stronger,  and  the  tardy  adherence  of  the  hitherto 
popular  leaders,  the  Feuillant  triumvirate  Duport,  Bar- 


nave  i  and  Alexandre  de  Lameth,  to  the  party  of  order 
had  given  an  actual  majority  to  those  who  wished  to 
see  the  executive  strengthened.  But  in  preventing  the 
escape  of  the  royal  family,  which  would  have  saved 
them  all,  they  made  a  fatal  mistake,  and  although  they 
were  strong  enough  to  spare  the  King  the  insult  of  a 
public  trial,  the  Assembly  proved  again  incapable  of 
giving  strength  to  government ;  and  the  revision  of 
the  constitution,  rushed  through  in  August,  made  no 
change  of  importance  beyond  decreeing  that  it  should 
remain  unaltered  for  thirty  years.  The  King,  who 
had  become  in  1789  "Chef  Supreme  du  Pouvoir  Exe- 
cutif,"  and  then  simply  "  Pouvoir  Exe"cutif,"  was  finally 
left  in  the  position  of  "  Premier  fonctionnaire  public,"  and 

1  Barnave,  a  young  barrister  from  Grenoble  with  a  reputation  for 
oratory,  had  been  sent  to  the  States  General  as  a  disciple  of  Mounier, 
from  whom,  however,  he  soon  dissociated  himself  to  become  a  leader 
of  the  advanced  party  in  the  National  Assembly.  His  mot  fatal — 
Ce  sang  est-il  done  si  pur  ?  and  his  savage  accusation  against  Malouet 
who  was  defending  the  Club  Monarchique  from  attacks  on  account 
of  their  charity  to  the  indigent —  Vous  distribuez  au  peupk  un  pain 
empoisonne — however  inexcusable,  did  not  betoken  the  character  of 
an  assassin  or  any  intention  to  overthrow  the  monarchy.  He  was 
merely,  as  Malouet  observed,  an  ardent  and  presumptuous  young 
man.  He  was  one  of  the  members  deputed  to  escort  the  royal  family 
back  to  Paris  after  the  2ist  of  June,  and  his  change  of  front  at  this 
time  was  popularly  attributed  to  a  supposed  infatuation  conceived  on 
that  occasion  for  the  Queen.  Some  years  later  Mallet  du  Pan  wrote 
of  him  as  a  man  whose  death  had  done  honour  to  the  scaffold  of  the 
Republic.  "  History  will  pass  judgment  on  the  faults  of  M.  Barnave ; 
to-day  it  would  be  atrocious  to  notice  anything  but  his  mistakes. 
Whatever  blame  may  attach  to  his  conduct  during  the  first  years  of 
the  Revolution,  we  should  not  forget  his  devotion  to  the  King  and 
Queen  after  the  Montmedi  journey,  his  repentance,  his  efforts  to  de- 
fend the  Monarchy  which  he  had  helped  to  undermine,  his  sufferings, 
his  long  captivity,  and  the  courage  of  his  last  moments." 


Mallet  du  Pan,  who  had  as  lately  as  May  strongly 
blamed  Burke's  impolitic  denunciation  of  the  constitu- 
tion, his  '  outrages  sanglants  contre  les  lois  d'un  empire 
voisinj  himself  pitilessly  analysed  its  provisions  in 
September  and  exposed  the  results  of  the  theory  of 
the  sovereignty  of  the  people,  even  then,  however, 
protesting  that  he  would  set  the  example  of  entire 
submission  to  the  constitution  if  only  it  succeeded  in 
holding  its  ground  and  re-establishing  social  order. 
Outside  the  Assembly  the  slight  rally  to  moderate 
principles  equally  failed  ;  and  the  attempt  of  Lafayette 
and  Bailly  to  make  head  against  the  revolutionary 
party  in  Paris  merely  led  to  the  so-called  massacre  of 
the  Champ  de  Mars  (i7th  July)  and  widened  the 
breach  between  the  bourgeoisie  and  the  populace. 

Such  was  the  struggle  which  Mallet  du  Pan  had 
watched  in  silence  and  with  growing  anxiety  until  his 
reappearance  in  the  Mercure  on  the  3rd  September. 
On  the  1 4th  of  that  month,  amid  the  noisy  and 
factitious  rejoicings  of  the  capital,  the  royal  prisoner  in 
the  Tuileries  was  reduced  to  signing  the  conditions 
presented  to  him.  Entering  the  Assembly  with  the 
escort  which  remained  to  him,  some  national  guards, 
esquires  and  pages,  and  without  his  cordon  bleu,  he 
solemnly  accepted  the  revised  constitution,  beginning 
his  speech  standing,  while  the  President,  Thouret,  sat 
with  his  legs  crossed  and  his  elbows  on  the  arms  of  his 
chair,  staring  at  the  King.1  When  it  is  remembered 

1 "  Au  moment  ou  le  Roi  pronon^ait  les  mots,  '  Je  jure  d'etre 
fidele  a  la  nation,'  1' Assembled  s'etait  assise,  et  pour  la  premiere  fois 
de  sa  vie,  Louis  XVI,  pour  la  premiere  fois  depuis  la  fondation  de 
la  Monarchic,  le  roi  de  France,  jurait  debout  fidelite  a  ses  sujets  assis. 
Mais  ceux-ci,  devenus  le  souverain,  ne  voyaient  plus  dans  le  roi  que 


that  in  July  Robespierre  had  openly  demanded  the  trial 
of  the  King ;  that  Danton  and  the  Cordeliers  were 
agitating  for  his  dethronement ;  and  that  Condorcet,  the 
philosopher  mathematician  who  a  few  months  later 
exhausted  intrigues  and  threats  to  place  his  wife  at 
Court  and  obtain  for  himself  the  post  of  tutor  to  the 
Dauphin,  and  a  little  later  still  poisoned  himself  in 
prison  to  escape  the  guillotine,  had  just  published  his 
demonstration  of  the  necessity  of  a  republic,  it  was 
indeed  a  noteworthy  act  of  courage  on  Mallet's  part 
to  have  written  of  Louis  XVI.  as  he  did  at  this  time. 
In  terms  of  noble  eulogy  he  spoke  of  him  (Mercure, 
September  loth  1791)  as  a  prince  whose  only  fault  it 
was  to  have  judged  others  as  virtuous  as  himself;  who 
alone  perhaps  in  the  kingdom  had  himself  desired  the 
alliance  of  liberty  with  the  monarchy ;  who  had  done 
more  for  the  rights  of  the  people  than  all  the  sovereigns 
and  demagogues  of  ancient  and  modern  times  put  to- 

But  the  question  round  which  the  hopes  and  fears 
of  the  leading  actors  in  the  struggle  were  now  be- 

le  premier  fonctionnaire  salarie,  legalement  soumis  a  la  decheance. 
Apres  les  mots  'Assemblee  nationale  Constituante '  le  Roi  s'aper- 
cevant  que  lui  seul  etait  debout,  a  parcouru  la  salle  d'un  regard  ou  la 
bonte  temperait  jusqu'a  la  surprise,  et  sa  Majeste  s'est  assise  et  a 
poursuivi  son  discours  "  (Mercure,  24th  Sept.  1791). 

1  "  Je  ne  suis  pas  ne  sous  sa  domination  ;  je  donnerai  mon  sang 
pour  le  maintien  du  gouvernement  republicain  qui  a  forme  mon 
enfance,  mes  inclinations,  mon  esprit,  et  mon  caractere;  mais  je 
m'honore,  avec  tout  ce  que  les  etats  libres  renferment  d'hommes 
ge"nereux,  de  verser  des  larmes  sur  le  sort  d'un  Roi  qui  ne  peut  ni  me 
recompenser  ni  me  punir,  sur  le  sort  de  la  nation  trompee  qui  a  pu 
meconnaitre  1'etendue  de  ses  magnanimes  sacrifices,  et  la  purete  de 
ses  intentions,"  etc. 


ginning  to  turn  was  that  of  the  approach  of  war  with 
Austria ;  and  it  is  important,  in  view  of  Mallet's  later 
attitude  and  the  criticisms  made  upon  it,  to  realise  the 
position  he  took  up  during  the  ensuing  months.  Up 
to  this  time  the  European  Powers,  engrossed  in  the  in- 
trigues and  negotiations  which  in  the  month  of  August 
closed  the  war  between  Russia  and  Turkey  on  the 
mediation  of  England  and  Prussia,  and  brought  about 
a  general  pacification  in  accordance  with  Leopold's 
views,  had  paid  but  little  attention  to  the  desperate 
plight  of  the  King  of  France.  On  the  very  day  after 
the  appearance  of  the  King  in  the  Assembly,  that  body 
in  defiance  of  all  treaty  rights  decreed  the  annexation 
of  Avignon,  an  outrage  which  failed  to  arouse  the 
opposition  of  the  Powers.  The  Congress  of  Pillnitz  is 
generally  taken  as  having  sounded  the  tocsin  against 
the  Revolution  ;  but  it  was  little  more  than  an  expres- 
sion of  platonic  interest  in  the  French  monarchy,  and  it 
may  rank  from  this  point  of  view  among  the  comedies 
augustes  of  history  which  Mallet  called  it.  Its  real 
importance  is  derived  from  the  change  it  effected  in 
the  European  balance  of  power  by  laying  the  founda- 
tion of  an  alliance  between  the  two  great  German 
States,  and  from  the  handle  it  gave  to  the  war  party 
in  France  to  inflame  and  alarm  public  opinion. 

On  the  1 5th  of  October  Mallet  du  Pan  surveyed 
the  condition  of  Europe  and  carefully  summed  up  the 
chances  of  war.  The  two  great  Powers,  Austria  and 
Prussia,1  showed  no  sign  of  taking  action,  and  though 

1  The  possibility  of  Great  Britain's  interference  was  at  this  time 
hardly  discussed.  He  speaks  of  "  England  disarmed  and  governed 
by  a  minister  too  prudent  to  enter  into  a  league,  the  expenses  of  which 


the  disposition  of  Russia  and  Sweden  was  more  doubtful, 
he  repeated  his  conviction  that  the  whole  of  Europe  was 
peacefully  inclined.  I  f  intervention  did  ultimately  ensue 
it  would  be  the  cause  of  the  people  and  not  that  of  the 
kings  which  would  arm  the  greater  part  of  Europe  in 
defence  of  order  and  civil  freedom.  As  for  the  King 
of  France,  "  so  far  from  being  a  cause  of  provocation  " 
(a  remark  which  in  view  of  his  continual  appeals  and 
those  of  the  Queen  to  the  Austrian  Court  is  hardly 
justified  by  the  facts),  "he  is  the  one  link  which  binds 
France  to  Europe.  If  the  nation  still  holds  any 
political  rank,  if  her  relations  with  the  rest  of  the 
world  are  not  yet  entirely  suspended,  she  owes  it  to 
Louis  XVI.  and  to  him  alone."  But  if  Europe  was 
pacific  two  powerful  sections  of  Frenchmen  within 
and  without  were  working  for  war.  In  the  new 
Assembly,  now  in  the  hands  of  the  party  afterwards 

would  sooner  or  later  provoke  discussion  in  Parliament  and  in  every 
class  of  the  nation  on  the  principles  of  the  French  Revolution ". 
Later  remarks  throw  a  rather  curious  sidelight  on  the  way  European 
statesmen  looked  on  England  (as  they  still  look  on  her)  in  the 
character  of  an  ally.  "De  tous  les  e"tats  de  1'Europe,"  he  wrote, 
"  1'Angleterre  est  celui  qui  a  le  mieux  connu  1'art  de  contracter  des 
alliances  pour  en  e"luder  le  fardeau  et  pour  en  retirer  les  benefices  .  .  . 
nulle  puissance  n'a  porte  a  un  si  haut  degre  1'egoisme  dans  les 
alliances  ;  elle  n'en  remplira  jamais  les  engagements  qu'autant  qu'elle 
pourra  le  faire  avec  une  utilitd  certaine."  He  instanced  her  conduct 
to  Prussia  in  1757  and  during  the  troubles  in  Holland  in  1788,  and 
quoted  the  well-known  opinion  of  Frederick  the  Great  on  the  value 
of  an  English  alliance.  The  earlier  years  of  the  revolutionary  war 
gave  another  illustration  of  English  methods.  "  Sa  position  insulaire 
ne  lui  permet  de  secourir  une  puissance  que  par  des  subsides. 
Donne-t-elle  des  secours  de  diversion  ?  C'est  ordinairement  pour  s'en 
approprier  les  avantages"  (by  appropriating  islands  and  commerce). 
Mercure,  28th  January  1792. 


known  as  the  Girondists,  Brissot 1  had  taken  Mirabeau's 
place  on  the  Foreign  Affairs  Committee,  and  with  his 
furious  denunciations  of  the  2Oth  of  October  against  the 
potentates  of  Europe  had  launched  his  campaign  which 
was  to  make  war  inevitable.  On  the  other  hand  the 
French  Emigres  by  their  great  gatherings  and  warlike 
preparations  at  Coblentz  and  Worms  were  doing  their 
best  to  drag  the  German  Powers  into  their  domestic 
quarrel ;  they  formed  the  text  of  the  patriotic  oratory 
of  the  Assembly  and  were  the  direct  occasion  of  the 
dissensions  between  the  European  Governments  and 
France.  Mallet  du  Pan  had  never  disguised  his 
opinion  of  the  emigration  started  by  the  cowardly 
flight  of  the  Comte  d'Artois  and  the  Polignacs  after 
the  fall  of  the  Bastille.2  The  emigration  of  this 
summer  and  autumn  was  on  an  enormous  scale,  and  he 

Brissot,  Mallet's  old  opponent  in  1782  at  Geneva,  had  long 
been  outrageously  violent  in  his  attacks  upon  him.  M.  Sorel  (L } Europe 
et  la  Revolution  Franfaise,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  301-2)  well  describes  the  man 
and  his  role  at  this  period.  His  training  had  been  that  of  the  venal 
journalistic  and  political  intrigue  of  London  and  Paris  which  Mallet 
had  often  signalised  as  one  of  the  worst  features  of  the  pre-revolu- 
tionary  epoch.  In  the  position  of  importance  into  which  his  pushing 
and  turbulent  disposition  had  brought  him  in  the  new  Assembly, 
"  il  disposait  de  1'Europe  avec  un  aplomb  imperturbable.  C'etait 
une  espece  de  Figaro  exalte,  ambitieux  de  mouvement  bien  plus  que 
de  puissance,  assez  leger  pour  tout  dire,  assez  sincere  pour  tout  croire, 
assez  fanatique  pour  tout  oser ;  serviable  a  ses  amis,  vindicatif  avec  ses 
adversaires,  apre  a  la  brigue,  de*sinte"ress£  pour  sa  propre  personne,  et 
se  faisant  par  Ik  de  ses  passions  meme  les  plus  mesquines  des  vertus 
d'Etat  ...  on  disait  brissoter  pour  intriguer." 

2"  Jamais,"  he  afterwards  wrote,  "je  n'ai  approuve  Pemigration, 
parce  que  j'ai  toujours  connu  qu'il  e*tait  absurde  de  quitter  la  France 
dans  1'espoir  de  la  sauver,  et  de  se  mettre  dans  la  servitude  des 
Grangers  pour  preVenir  ou  pour  terminer  une  querelle  nationale." 


noted  in  October  that  six  hundred  naval  officers  had 
left  the  kingdom,  that  the  epidemic  had  extended  to 
officers  of  all  ranks  and  in  every  branch  of  the  army  ; 
that  the  small  noblesse  of  the  provinces,  who  had  suffered 
as  much  as  any  class  from  the  abuses  of  the  ancien 
regime,  unlike  the  nobles  who  had  besieged  the  anti- 
chambers  of  Versailles  and  were  now  doing  equal 
disservice  to  their  country  at  foreign  courts, — that  these 
lesser  owners  of  the  soil  were  flying  en  masse,  many  of 
them  on  foot,  to  the  frontier,  1,200  having  left  Poitiers 
alone,  and  the  whole  of  the  same  class  from  Brittany ; 
and  that  in  many  towns  there  now  only  remained  the 
"  artisan  population,  a  club,  and  the  devouring  cloud 
of  officials  created  by  the  constitution  ".  There  is  an 
interesting  account  (Mercure,  i8th  October  1791)  of  a 
visit  paid  by  some  of  these  resident  landowners  to 
Mallet  du  Pan  at  this  time,  men  who  till  then  had 
never  left  their  country  homes.1  They  came  to  thank 

1 "  II  est  fort  aise"  "  (he  had  written  on  loth  September)  "a  un 
agitateur  de  mauvaise  foi  de  repre"senter  tous  les  nobles  comme  des 
sangsues  et  tous  les  Pasteurs  comme  des  fripons  :  ces  mensonges  n'em- 
pechent  pas  que,  sur  cent  proprietaires  qualifies,  quatre-vingt  n'e"taient 
connus  de  leurs  vassaux  que  sous  des  rapports  de  bienfaisance ; 
que  le  chateau  fournissait  desjaliments  dans  les  maladies,  des  aumones 
plus  ou  moins  abondantes  chaque  annee,  des  travaux  continuels,  des 
places  aux  enfants,  des  recommandations  utiles  aux  peres,  et  des  repits 
dans  les  paiements  des  redevances  en  cas  de  detresse  particuliere  ou  de 
calamite  publique.  La  noblesse  des  Provinces  habitait  leurs  terres 
une  grande  partie  de  1'annee,  et  y  depensait  par  consequent  une 
somme  considerable  de  ses  revenus.  J'admets  la  durete  de  quelques 
intendants  domestiques,  1'insolence  de  la  valetaille,  et  quelquefois 
les  hauteurs  trop  impe'rieuses  des  maitres ;  ces  torts  particuliers  ne 
balansaient  point  les  avantages|infinis  qui  resultaient  de  cette  clientele, 
de  ce  Patriarchal  entre  le  seigneur  et  ses  vassaux.  On  n'avait  pas  besoin 
surement  d'une  revolution  sanglante  pour  faire  disparaltre  les  abus  de 


him  with  tears  in  their  eyes  for  his  efforts  to  preserve 
their  lives  and  properties  from  fire  and  sword.  When 
they  told  him  that  they  were  about  to  follow  their 
compatriots  to  the  Low  Countries,  he  endeavoured  to 
give  them  hopes  of  better  times,  to  persuade  them 
to  remain.  They  replied  that  it  was  not  regret  for 
their  lost  privileges  which  caused  them  to  seek  relief 
in  foreign  countries,  and  they  drew  heart-rending 
pictures  of  the  oppression,  the  outrages,  the  robbery 
which  made  their  existence  in  the  provinces  a  literal 
impossibility.  From  the  fanaticism  of  despair  which 
he  read  in  their  hearts,  and  from  the  number  of  those 
who  shared  their  feelings,  Mallet  du  Pan  augured 
danger  to  the  newly  established  "  liberties  "  of  France  ; 
and  it  is  not  surprising  that  the  rulers  of  the  country, 
unable  or  unwilling  in  the  midst  of  the  anarchy  they 
had  created  to  act  on  Mallet's  warning  that  the  only 
way  to  recall  the  absent  or  retain  the  fugitives  was  to 
guarantee  their  freedom,  their  religion  and  their  per- 
sonal safety,  should  have  striven  as  they  did  to  legislate 
against  their  emigration,  and  to  force  the  Powers  to  dis- 
band and  disperse  their  gatherings  in  foreign  countries. 
The  resignation  of  the  Foreign  Office  on  the  27th 
of  November  by  the  Comte  de  Montmorin,  who  re- 
mained by  the  King's  side  as  his  secret  adviser  till  the 
end  and  who  shared  his  fate,1  the  appointment  of  the 

cette  institution ;  abus  bien  peu  one"reux  aux  campagnes  en  comparai- 
son  de  tant  d'autres  sous  lesquelles  elles  gemissaient,  et  spe"cialement 
les  exactions  des  gens  de  loi  qui  ont  remplace  les  gentilshommes  dans 
la  faveur  de  la  multitude." 

1  He  was  killed  during  the  September  massacres.  One  of  his  sons 
was  drowned  as  a  young  naval  officer,  the  other  died  at  the  age  of 
twenty-two  on  the  guillotine  with  his  mother,  shouting  Vive  le  roi 


feeble  Delessart  as  his  successor,  and  of  Narbonne,1  the 
friend  w\&protege  of  Madame  de  Stae'l,  to  the  Ministry 
of  War,  swept  away  the  last  barrier  in  France  against 
the  war,  and  gave  full  rein  lo  the  efforts  of  the 
Brissotins  to  goad  the  unwilling  Emperor  into  taking 
up  the  challenge.  There  no  longer  remained  in  the 
Assembly  a  single  voice  to  point  out  the  desperate 
character  of  the  move  upon  which  the  destiny  of 
France  and  of  the  monarchy  was  being  staked,  to 
offer  resistance  to  the  motives  of  real  and  simulated 
patriotism,  always  so  powerful  in  a  high-spirited  nation 
on  the  imminent  approach  of  war,  or  to  unmask  the 
designs  of  those  who  had  so  skilfully  fanned  the  flame 
of  patriotic  ardour.  For  one  reason  or  another  all 
parties  were,  or  seemed  to  be,  united  in  the  determina- 
tion to  bring  matters  to  an  issue.  Brissot  and  the 
Girondists  desired  a  war  which  should  identify  the 
Revolution  with  patriotic  feeling,  and,  by  confounding 
the  cause  of  the  king  with  that  of  the  foreigners  and 
the  emigres,  should  complete  the  ruin  of  the  monarchy 
and  establish  a  republic  to  be  presided  over  by  them- 
selves. The  pure  Royalists  and  the  emigres  looked 
forward  to  a  counter-revolution  as  a  result  of  foreign 
conquest  which  would  re-establish  the  ancien  regime. 
Narbonne  and  the  ministers  on  the  one  hand,  and 

at  the  death  of  each  of  his  fellow  victims ;  his  remaining  child,  the 
Comtesse  de  Beaumont,  escaped  the  guillotine,  and  was  befriended 
like  so  many  others  by  Madame  de  Stae'l,  but  she  did  not  long  survive 
the  catastrophes  which  had  overwhelmed  the  family  of  this  faithful 
servant  of  the  king. 

1 "  Le  Comte  Louis  de  Narbonne,"  wrote  the  Queen  to  Fersen, 
"  est  enfin  Ministre  de  la  Guerre.  Quelle  gloire  pour  Madame  de 
Stae'l,  et  quel  plaisir  pour  elle  d'avoir  toute  1'armee  a  elle !  " 


Barnave  on  the  other,  actively  promoted  hostilities 
with  the  idea  that  foreign  war  would  regenerate  the 
army,  which  under  a  victorious  general  might  pacify 
the  country,  suppress  anarchy  and  consolidate  the  civil 
conquests  of  the  Revolution. 

Outside  the  Assembly,  indeed,  two  strangely  con- 
trasted forces,  Robespierre  and  Danton  on  the  one 
hand,  and  the  King  and  his  most  intimate  advisers  on 
the  other,  were  working  against  the  war.  Robespierre 
and  Danton  were  openly  opposed  to  it  for  the  simple 
reason  that  however  favourable  from  the  anti-monarchi- 
cal point  of  view  it  might  prove  to  be,  the  advantage 
would  fall  to  the  Girondists  ;  and  they  were  no  more 
anxious  for  the  rule  of  Brissot  than  for  that  of  Louis, 
who  might  moreover  be  rehabilitated  by  a  successful 
campaign.  They  considered  therefore  that  till  the 
Revolution  was  completed  in  their  sense,  till  the  war 
against  the  King  of  France  was  over,  war  against 
the  kings  of  Europe  was  madness.1 

The  position  of  the  King,  complicated  as  it  was  by 
the  pressure  of  the  various  royalist  factions  and  of  the 
emigres,  by  the  obvious  dangers  of  the  internal  situation 
of  the  monarchy,  by  an  entanglement  of  contradictory  in- 
structions and  secret  missions  from  Louis  and  the  Queen, 
and  by  the  official  and  secret  diplomacy  of  the  Ministry, 
is  less  simply  stated.  But  that  he  was  wholly  opposed 
to  the  policy  which  was  being  forced  upon  him  is  certain, 
and  Mallet  du  Pan's  own  conduct  and  his  repeated  state- 
ments throw  much  light  upon  this  point.  The  King 
viewed  with  the  utmost  displeasure  the  violence  of  his 
brothers  and  the  emigres,  who  professing  to  consider 

ii.,  317. 


him  a  prisoner  had  emancipated  themselves  from  his 
control,  disregarded  his  instructions,  and  urged  upon 
the  unwilling  Kaunitz  and  the  Emperor  action  of  a 
kind  which  the  distracted  French  sovereigns  knew  to 
be  disastrous,  however  much  they  may  have  desired 
Austrian  assistance.  When,  on  the  i4th  of  December, 
he  had  been  forced  to  assent  to  the  decree  of  the 
Assembly  against  the  rassemblement  of  emigres  in 
Treves  which  brought  the  Government  within  sight  of 
war,  he  had  written  privately  to  Baron  de  Breteuil,1 
informing  him  that  he  did  not  expect  the  Elector  to 
accede  to  his  demands,  .  .  .  and  instructing  him  that  he 
should  summon  the  Powers  to  take  measures  for  the 
dispersal  and  disarmament  of  the  emigres,  and  then  re- 
assemble them,  disarmed,  and  defend  the  Electors.  If 
war  ensued  it  would  not  be  a  civil  war  from  which  he 
always  shrank  in  horror,  but  a  political  war  in  which 
France  could  not  engage  with  success,  and  the  result  of 
which  would  be  to  throw  the  French  into  his  arms  as 
mediator  between  them  and  the  foreign  army.  The 
terms  of  this  letter  harmonise  with  the  instructions  with 
which  Mallet  du  Pan  went  to  Frankfort  a  few  months 
later,  and  in  the  turn  the  King  thus  sought  to  give  to 
the  impending  war  he  was  no  doubt  in  agreement 
with  the  advisers  to  whom  at  this  time,  and  on  this 
question,  he  had  given  his  confidence,  Montmorin, 
Malouet  and  Mallet  du  Pan.  The  course  he  took 
was  perfectly  consistent  with  the  conviction  which  was 
held  by  the  three  friends,  which  was  expressed,  as  we 
shall  see,  with  the  utmost  persistency  by,  Mallet,  and 
which  was  shared  by  the  King  himself,  that  war  would 
be  disastrous  to  the  monarchy. 

1  Sorel,  ii.,  332. 


'Louis  XVI,'  wrote  Mallet  du  Pan,1  at  a  later 
date,  '  regardait  cette  guerre  comme  le  torn-beau  de  sa 
famille,  de  la  monarchic,  de  la  France,  et  comme  le 
sien  propre?  Montmorin,  he  adds,  prophetically  de- 
scribed to  him  before  he  left  Paris,  in  great  detail,  the 
results  he  feared  from  it  and  which  actually  followed. 
It  was  not,  however,  in  an  attitude  of  passive  resigna- 
tion or  pessimistic  inaction,  an  attitude  entirely  foreign 
to  his  character,  that  Mallet  du  Pan  had  watched  the 
growing  storm.  He  had  vigorously  insisted  that  the 
King  should  use  his  veto  against  the  first  Jacobin  decrees 
of  the  Legislative  Assembly  respecting  the  emigres 
and  the  refractory  priests  ;  and  the  imposition  upon 
Louis  of  ministers  whom  he  regarded  as  the  worst 
enemies  of  the  monarchy  had  drawn  from  him  the  re- 
proach, "Will  the  conscience  of  the  Prince  be  eternally 
subordinated  to  circumstances  ?  "  Among  his  private 
notes  is  an  account  of  an  effort  he  made  before  Mont- 
morin resigned  the  Foreign  Office  to  clear  up  the  position 
of  the  King  with  regard  to  the  Assembly.  "  Malouet 
et  moi"  he  writes,  decided  Montmorin  to  propose  to 
the  King,  in  order  to  prove  to  the  foreign  courts 
that  he  was  either  free  or  a  prisoner,  to  request  the 
Assembly  to  allow  him  to  go  to  Fontainebleau  or 
Compiegne  and  there  choose  a  ministry  of  his  own. 
If  they  refused,  his  subjection  would  be  demon- 
strated. If  they  agreed,  the  King  would  be  able 
to  appoint  a  ministry  of  vigorous  and  devoted  men, 
and  carry  out  his  own  views.  Montmorin  pressed  the 
suggestion  on  the  King  three  times  without  success, 
even  throwing  himself  at  the  feet  of  the  Queen.  They 

1  Correspondance  Politique  pour  servir  a  fhistoire  du  Republica- 
nisme  Franfais,  1776.     See  note  at  end  of  this  pamphlet. 


refused,  afraid  that  the  demand  would  cause  an  in- 
surrection. This  incident  is  only  one  of  many  in 
which,  by  fatalistic  optimism,  by  constitutional  indolence 
and  want  of  resolution,  by  his  "  invincible  repugnance 
to  the  travail  de  la  pensee"  the  King  threw  away  his 
chances  of  safety.  The  failure  of  the  flight  to  Varennes 
confirmed  his  natural  disposition  to  let  matters  drift. 
The  following  June  he  refused  another  offer  from 
Duport,  who  pressed  his  services  upon  him  with  every 
sign  of  repentance  and  devotion.  '  JVon,'  he  replied, 
after  pacing  the  room  a  few  moments,  '  au  milieu  des 
dangers  qui  nous  environnent  je  ne  dots  pas  en  a  Her 
chercher  un  nouveau!  Courage  he  possessed  in  the 
highest  degree,  but  courage  of  the  purely  passive  kind, 
and  Mallet  du  Pan  notes  that  the  degout  de  la  vie,  the 
difficulties  of  his  position  and  religious  exaltation  had 
inspired  him  with  a  profound  indifference  to  the  death 
which  he  expected  and  even  desired. 

After  the  2oth  of  June  1792,  when  Madame  de  la 
Roche  Aymon  congratulated  him  on  his  courage  and 
begged  him  to  take  measures  for  his  future  safety,  he 
merely  said,  'Ah  vous  etes  femme,  et  Fon  ne  vous  a  pas, 
contme  moi,  rassasiee  de  la  vie  V  An  able  man,  as  Morris 
observed,  would  not  have  fallen  into  his  situation. 
The  retrospect  of  the  occasions  on  which  a  "  small- 
beer  character  "  (to  use  the  American  Minister's  uncere- 
monious expression)  threw  away  one  by  one  his  chances 
of  averting  revolution  and  of  securing  his  own  freedom, 
proves  with  irresistible  force  that  a  strong  sovereign 
might  even  at  the  last  moment  have  saved  his  country 
from  anarchy,  and  his  own  house  from  the  fate  which 
Mirabeau  had  prophesied  for  it  at  the  hands  of  the 

1  Anecdotes  from  Mallet  du  Pan's  Notes. 


populace  in  the  terrible  words,  '  I  Is  battront  le  pave  de 
leurs  cadavres\  But  Mallet  du  Pan,  who  knew  and 
sympathised  so  strongly  with  Louis'  views  and  wishes 
for  France,  wrote  of  him  always  with  a  touch  of  per- 
sonal feeling  very  unusual  with  him.  He  is  tender 
even  to  his  faults :  "  Continually  placed  between  the 
dangers  of  temerity  which  were  great  and  those  of 
prudence  which  were  perhaps  greater,  he  could  never 
take  a  line  inconsistent  with  the  gentleness  and  easy- 
going amiability  of  his  character.  Courageous,  as 
regarded  his  own  life,  timid  as  a  child  for  those  he 
loved,  he  had  the  heroism  of  resignation." 

It  only  remained  therefore  for  Mallet  du  Pan  to  do 
all  a  journalist  could  to  oppose  the  growing  frenzy  for 
war,  and  he  lost  no  time  in  dissociating  himself  from 
the  line  followed  by  all  of  those  who  were  stirring  it  up. 

"  It  is  impossible,"  he  wrote,1  "  for  a  true  friend 
of  this  monarchy  to  consider  the  approach  of  war 
without  dismay.  It  is  impossible  not  to  lament  that 
before  arriving  at  this  fatal  extremity  no  means  of 
averting  it  should  have  been  sought  for,  that  no  expres- 
sion save  that  of  hatred  should  have  made  itself  heard. " 

A  little  later  he  repeated  his  warnings,2  in  a  pro- 
phetic denunciation  of  the  ideals  of  the  Jacobins  on  the 
one  hand  and  of  the  ultra- Royalists  on  the  other,  the  two 
political  parties  so  different  in  their  origin,  so  alike  in 
their  methods  and  their  character,  against  which  he  was 
to  struggle  throughout  the  course  of  the  Revolution. 

"  I  shall  not  cease  to  repeat  what  coming  events 
will  teach  with  far  greater  force  that  the  war  will 
complete  the  dissolution  of  the  monarchy,  or  impose  a 
fresh  servitude  upon  it.  A  federal  republic  in  case  of 

1  Mercure,  ijth  Dec.  1791.  2On  yth  Jan.  1791. 


its  success,  a  terrible  counter-revolution  in  case  of 
failure.  ...  I  venture  to  predict  that  it  will  not  be  for 
the  preservation  of  the  throne,  or  of  the  friends  of 
monarchical  government  of  whatever  section,  that  our 
arms  will  triumph  ;  while  if  they  are  unsuccessful,  the 
monarchy,  the  laws  and  true  freedom  will  fall  under 
the  dominion  of  force  .  .  .  and  another  constitution 
will  be  created  with  the  very  sword  which  will  have 
served  to  destroy  that  which  now  exists." 

With  an  insight  which  is  remarkable  when  it  is 
remembered  that  the  world  was  yet  to  witness  the  de- 
monstration of  the  justice  of  his  analysis,  he  went  on  to 
describe  the  nature  of  the  convulsion  which  was  to  place 
civilisation  at  the  mercy  of  the  strongest ;  to  define  the 
doctrine  which  placed  liberty  in  the  exercise  of  power  by 
the  majority,  and  equality  in  the  restoration  of  all  the 
"  rights  "  given  by  nature  to  mankind  at  their  creation  ; 
and  to  point  out  the  results  of  its  application  to  a  great 
empire  "  in  which  beings  without  virtues  and  without 
vices,  indifferent  to  good  as  to  evil,  were  the  passive 
instruments  of  ferocious  sophists  and  of  enthusiastic 
innovators  of  the  class  and  of  the  principles  thrown 
up  in  times  of  disorder."  J  The  threatened  classes  on 
the  other  hand  consisted  of  men — 

1 A  famous  phrase,  often  quoted  since,  occurs  in  a  passage  de- 
scribing the  memorable  subversion  of  the  Lower  Empire  by  the 
northern  barbarians,  a  passage  in  which  Constantinople,  its  feeble 
and  corrupt  government,  and  its  population,  which  "sous  les  in- 
clinations de  Sybarites  cachaient  Tame  des  cannibales,"  was  described 
with  evident  reference  to  the  actual  condition  of  Paris.  "  Dans  le 
tableau,"  he  writes,  "  de  cette  memorable  subversion  on  decouvre 
1'image  de  celle  dont  1'Europe  est  menacee.  Les  Huns  et  les  Herules, 
les  Vandales  et  les  Goths  ne  viendront  ni  du  Nord  ni  de  la  mer 
Noire ;  Us  sont  au  milieu  de  nous" 


"  enfeebled  by  self-indulgence,  astounded  by  an  up- 
heaval of  which  they  had  no  experience,  severed  by 
the  very  diversity  of  their  interests,  painfully  reckoning 
up  their  sacrifices  at  a  moment  when  the  enemy  is 
about  to  relieve  them  of  the  necessity  of  making  any  ; 
— combattant  avec  mollesse,  avec  la  fausse  securit6,  et 
1'egoisme,  contre  les  passions  dans  leur  etat  d'inde- 
pendance,  contre  la  pauvrete  feroce  et  I'immoralite 
hardie  ". 

If  he  thus  sought  to  dissipate  the  illusions  of  the 
Royalists,  he  discerned  with  no  less  clearness  the  effects 
of  the  war  on  the  edifice  of  European  society,  the 
insecure  foundations  of  which  none  more  fully  recog- 
nised than  he. 

"  No  epoch  of  history,  ancient  or  modern,  presents 
a  crisis  of  greater  gravity.1  The  sovereigns  will  per- 
haps presume  too  much  if  they  think  they  can  unravel 
it  by  the  simple  force  of  arms."  If  they  neglect  to 
"  appeal  to  public  opinion,  to  point  out  that  the  in- 
terest of  their  subjects  lies  in  the  preservation  of 
public  order  and  lawful  government,  the  excesses  of 
the  French  Revolution  may  well  subvert  Europe  from 
one  end  to  another". 

In  these  words  he  struck  the  note  to  which  in 
the  following  years  he  constantly  returned  ;  as  he 
did  when  he  contrasted  the  enthusiasm  of  the  war 
party  in  France  and  their  threats,  "no  mere  words," 
to  raise  subjects  against  their  sovereigns,  to  corrupt 
the  soldiery,  to  burn  the  chateaux  while  respecting 
the  cottages,  to  free  the  people  from  all  authority 
and  to  make  use,  in  Brissot's  phrase,  of  the  "dagger 
of  the  tyrannicide,"  with  the  irresolution  of  Cabinets 

1  Mercure,  i4th  January  1791. 


and  Governments.  Everything,  he  observed,  favoured 
the  authors  of  social  convulsion  in  Europe  which 
seemed  to  have  no  common  ground  for  resistance. 
"  The  first  great  nation  which  attempted  to  change  the 
face  of  society  would  be  met  only  by  divided  counsels, 
and  the  number  and  complication  of  the  conventions 
which  bound  the  States  of  Europe  gave  the  measure 
of  the  motives  of  discord  between  them. "  Not,  however, 
without  apparent  reason  did  the  reactionary  Royalists 
look  forward  to  the  chances  of  a  foreign  war  ;  and  the 
confidence  with  which  Mallet  du  Pan  himself,  once  war 
was  declared,  anticipated  during  the  first  campaigns 
the  success  of  the  allies  was  founded  on  his  knowledge 
of  the  condition  of  impotence  to  which  France  had 
been  reduced.  More  than  once  he  drew  attention  to 
the  growing  disorganisation  of  the  country. 

"  Everywhere1  authority  was  without  strength,  and 
illegitimate  authorities  were  masters  of  the  law  and  of 
civil  liberty.  Here  the  municipal  officers  insulted  and 
beaten  at  Caen,  there  the  directory  of  the  department  of 
Gers  flying  from  an  outraged  and  seditious  mob  ;  here 
convoys  of  grain,  there  convoys  of  specie,  stopped 
with  violence  ;  the  departments  arbitrarily  closing  the 
churches  and  executing  the  decree  against  the  priests 
notwithstanding  the  royal  negative  which  deprived  it 
of  the  character  of  law  ;  .  .  .  the  people  impoverished 
and  driven  to  desperation  by  the  scourge  of  paper 
money  and  the  excessive  clearness  of  provisions ; 
proprietors  of  all  ranks  terrified,  fleeing,  imploring  in 
vain  the  return  of  peace  and  security ;  a  fleet  without 
a  single  officer,  an  army  with  barely  two  hundred,  the 
new  generals  already  calumniated  like  their  prede- 
cessors, ministers  libelled  every  day  despite  their 

1  Mercure,  nth  February  1792. 


efforts  at  conciliation,  every  moderate  man  condemned 
as  a  traitor — how  was  a  nation  so  situated  to  make 
head  against  the  best  armies  and  the  most  experienced 
generals  of  the  continent  ?  " 

It  was,  however,  far  from  the  writer's  intention  to 
encourage  by  pictures  like  these  the  hopes  of  the 
Royalists  whose  hatred  he  had  earned  by  his  opposi- 
tion to  the  war,  hopes  whose  complete  success  in  his 
opinion  could  only  inaugurate  a  fresh  cycle  of  political 
disaster  for  France.  Nor  did  he  share  the  illusions  of 
those  who  asserted  with  insolent  iteration  that  "  dis- 
order itself  would  bring  about  a  restoration  of  order," 
that  "anarchy  would  reconstitute  despotism";  and  he 
rebuked  the  easy  optimism  of  men  who  "  in  their  boxes 
at  the  opera,  or  with  their  foot  on  the  step  of  the 
carnages  which  were  carrying  them  to  Coblentz," 
cheered  themselves  with  the  thought  that  "  France 
loved  her  King,"  that  she  "could  not  do  without  the 
monarchy,"  that  "democracy  was  perishing  of  itself"! 
"It  is  absurd,"  he  said,  "  to  imagine  that  a  vast 
monarchy  fourteen  centuries  old  which  had  been 
shattered  in  a  moment,  would  be  restored,  equally  in 
a  moment,  by  the  progress  of  anarchy  or  the  incon- 
stancy of  the  multitude."  Rather  on  the  contrary  did 
he  dwell  on  the  signs  which  few  but  he  perceived,  and 
which  for  years  the  allied  Courts  ignored  in  spite  of 
all  his  attempts  to  enlighten  them,  that  anarchy  was 
about  to  assume  the  character  of  a  power  which  was 
to  dominate  all  legal  authority  ;  and  that  the  elements 
of  revolution  would  only  be  systematised  by  war. 
Europe  was  soon  enough  to  learn  the  truth  of  this 
prediction  when  Danton  with  his  energy,  his  practical 
grasp,  his  political  aptitude  and  his  freedom  from  all 


hampering  prejudices,  raised  the  armies  and  created 
the  dictatorship  of  the  Committee,  which  enabled 
Carnot  to  organise  victory  and  in  a  national  sense 
saved  France.  But  appeal  and  warning  alike  were  use- 
less to  those  who  could  not  or  would  not  see  their  true 
interests,  and  mere  writing  was  powerless  against  the 
rush  of  events.  While  on  the  one  hand  the  assas- 
sination of  Gustavus  of  Sweden  (the  Don  Quixote  of 
the  counter-revolution  as  Catherine  II.  named  him) 
weakened  the  chance  of  a  successful  pursuit  of  war,  on 
the  other  the  death  of  Leopold,  the  accession  of  a 
Girondist  ministry,  the  pusillanimity  of  the  majority 
of  the  Legislative  Assembly,  brought  the  country  to 
the  actual  declaration  of  war,  and  forced  the  king  to 
sign  with  tears  in  his  eyes  the  decree  of  his  ministers. 
'  Ckacun,'  wrote  Mallet  afterwards,  'pent  se  rappeler  la 
profonde  tristesse  de  sa  contenance  et  de  sa  voix  lorsquil 
vint  annoncer  a  F  Assembl'ee  la  resolution  de  son  Conseil? 
By  this  time  the  task  of  the  writer  had  become 
impossible.  Moderation,  he  wrote,  was  treated  as  a 
crime.  Accused  of  being  an  '  aristocrate  permanent 
et  aussi  incurable  que  Mauryl  Mallet  du  Pan  was  now 
the  mark  of  denunciation  and  sarcasm  in  the  press,  in 
the  street,  in  the  theatre.  ' Mallet pendu'  was  Camille 
Desmoulins'  significant  nickname,  or  '  Mallet  Mercure, 
Mallet  le  Char  latan,fameux  par  ses  pillules  mercuriales, 
hebdomadaires  et  antipatriotiques ' !  Four  civic  assaults 
on  his  house,  three  actual  arrests  and  one  hundred  and 
fifteen  denunciations  give  the  measure  of  the  persecu- 
tion to  which  he  had  been  subjected,  and  now  several 
members  of  the  Assembly  warned  him  that  his  arrest 
and  his  removal  to  and  trial  at  Orleans  had  been 
decided  in  the  Republican  Committee,  and  that  the 


efforts  of  the  Right  would  be  powerless  to  save  him. 
In  a  final  article,  therefore,  he  once  more  with  singular 
fearlessness  told  the  truth  to  friends  and  enemies, 
and  urged  that  it  was  the  height  of  madness,  in  view 
of  the  gulf  which  was  yawning  before  them  all,  to 
persist  in  wrangling  over  the  points  which  divided  them 
instead  of  combining  on  those  which  were  common  to 

With  these  words  came  to  an  end  Mallet's  eight 
years'  connection  with  the  Mercure^  and  a  journalistic 
record  which  any  one  who  studies  it  page  by  page  in 
the  original  must  pronounce  to  be  unique.  Composed 
as  it  is  of  detached  articles  and  paragraphs  on  passing 
events,  there  runs  through  the  whole  work  a  unity  of 
purpose  and  thought  based  on  invariable  principles  ; 
and  it  stands  alone  for  its  coherence  and  consistency 
of  view,  for  essential  moderation,  for  its  constant 
appeal  to  facts  to  reason  to  common  sense  and  to 
public  morality,  for  foresight  and  for  unswerving  and 
indomitable  courage.  Celebrated  as  the  name  of  Mallet 
du  Pan  was  to  become  on  a  wider  field,  there  is  no 
period  of  his  life  upon  which  a  biographer  can  dwell 
with  greater  satisfaction  than  upon  these  early  years 
during  which  his  opinions  were  developed  in  actual 
contact  and  in  daily  struggle  with  the  men  and  forces 
of  the  Revolution,  years  in  which  he  showed  in  the 
highest  degree  not  only,  to  use  Carlyle's  phrase,  the 
"  assurance  of  a  man,"  but  the  qualities  of  practical 
statesmanship  so  rare  among  his  French  contempo- 

1The  Mercure  was  continued  under  Peuchet's  direction  till  its 
long  and  honourable  career  was  terminated  on  loth  August  1792. 


It  was  not  without  protest  that  the  King  and  his 
advisers  heard  of  the  intention  of  the  one  remaining 
champion  of  their  views  to  abandon  the  field.  But  the 
necessity  of  the  step  was  soon  recognised,  and  it  was 
decided  upon  Malouet's  suggestion  to  utilise  Mallet's 
departure  by  entrusting  him  with  a  mission  of  the 
utmost  delicacy  and  importance,  that  of  representing  to 
the  brothers  of  the  King  as  well  as  to  the  Emperor  and 
the  King  of  Prussia  the  true  situation  of  the  kingdom, 
and  the  intention  and  views  of  the  King  as  to  the 
war  and  its  consequences.  Conferences  followed  be- 
tween Mallet  du  Pan,  Bertrand  de  Moleville  and  Mont- 
morin ;  and  Mallet  du  Pan  was  requested  to  draw  up 
the  heads  of  a  manifesto  to  be  issued  by  the  Powers. 
The  King  fully  approved  the  draft,  annotating  it  with 
his  own  hand,  and  Mallet  then  prepared  the  definite 
instructions  which  formed  the  basis  of  his  subsequent 
action.  The  question  of  his  credentials,  absolutely 
necessary  to  ensure  the  envoy  a  hearing  among  the 
multitudes  of  real  and  pretended  secret  agents  who 
inundated  Germany  at  this  moment,  was  a  subject  of 
anxious  consideration.  But  the  danger  to  which  the 
discovery  of  any  written  authorisation  would  have 
exposed  the  king  finally  decided  the  ministers  to 
despatch  Mallet  du  Pan  without  credentials,  which 
were  to  follow  him  and  which  did  after  some  vicissi- 
tudes ultimately  reach  him.  He  was  charged  to 
maintain  absolute  secrecy  as  to  his  mission,  and  on 
the  2ist  of  May  he  departed  to  Geneva,  leaving  his 
family  in  Paris  in  order  to  divert  suspicion.  From 
Geneva  he  made  his  way  without  delay  to  Frankfort, 
where  he  was  to  await  the  arrival  of  the  two  Monarchs 

for  the  coronation  of  the  Emperor  Francis. 






No  negotiator  ever  had  a  more  difficult  task  than 
that  which  faced  the  unaccredited  representative  of  a 
monarchy  in  extremis  on  his  arrival  at  Frankfort  in  the 
middle  of  June.  The  Emperor  and  the  King  of  Prussia 
were  not  expected  for  the  opening  of  the  diet  and  the 
coronation  ceremonies  until  the  following  month,  so 
Mallet  du  Pan  addressed  himself  to  that  part  of  his 
instructions  which  related  to  the  French  Princes.  It 
must  be  admitted  that  for  the  purpose  of  influencing 
them  the  envoy  was  singularly  ill-chosen.  He  had 
never  disguised  his  opinion  of  the  action  of  the  emigres 
or  his  belief  that  the  ancien  regime  was  gone  for  ever, 
and  he  had  been  bitterly  attacked  in  Paris  as  the 
chief  of  the  party  described  as  Monarchiens,  a  sect  as 
odious  to  the  pure  Royalists  as  the  Jacobins.  The 
Princes  on  their  side  had  been  for  months  acting  in 
direct  contravention  of  the  ideas  of  the  King,  they  had 
arrogated  to  themselves  the  position  of  mediators 
between  the  allies  and  the  French  people,  and  they 
were  determined  not  to  stand  aside  in  the  coming 
struggle.  The  outbreak  of  the  war,  indeed,  which 
seemed  to  crown  the  hopes  of  the  emigres  was  not 


favourable  to  moderate  counsels ;  and  the  influence  of 
Calonne  and  the  ultra- Royalists  made  Mallet's  repre- 
sentations to  the  Princes,  although  supported  by  their 
wiser  counsellors  such  as  De  Castries,  highly  unpalat- 
able. In  spite  of  more  than  one  journey  to  Coblentz  he 
never  therefore  succeeded  in  obtaining  an  interview  with 
them,  until  his  reception  by  the  sovereigns  forced  them 
into  a  momentary  and  delusive  compliance  with  his 
views.  It  was  the  opening  chapter  of  relations  with 
the  emigration  which  led  him  to  appreciate  the  sagacity 
of  the  remark  made  by  Cardinal  de  Retz  '  quon  a  plus 
de  peine  a  vivre  avec  les  gens  de  son  parti  quavec 
ceux  qui  nen  sont  pas?  His  futile  but  unceasing 
efforts  to  save  the  royalist  cause  from  the  conse- 
quences of  its  own  blindness,  prejudice  and  ignorance, 
are  henceforth  graphically  portrayed  in  a  long-sustained 
correspondence  with  the  chief  advisers  of  the  Princes, 
and  form  as  we  shall  see  the  real  tragedy  of  Mallet 
du  Pan's  political  career  during  the  next  few  years. 
Meanwhile  the  Revolution  was  making  alarming  pro- 
gress in  Paris,  and  the  situation  of  the  King,  described 
in  Malouet's  letters,  was  becoming  daily  more  critical. 
On  the  i Qth  of  June,  after  the  King  had  vetoed  the 
decree  relating  to  the  priests  and  the  federes,  he  had 
written  to  his  confessor :  '  J'ai  fini  avec  les  hommes, 
je  dois  me  tourner  vers  Dieu.  On  annonce  pour 
demain  de  grands  malheurs :  faurai  du  courage? 
The  2oth  accordingly  had  witnessed  the  invasion  of 
the  Tuileries  by  sixty  thousand  sons-culottes,  when  the 
royal  family  was  saved  only  by  some  revulsion  of  feel- 
ing caused  in  the  mob  by  the  spectacle  of  the  King's 
calm  and  resigned  courage.  It  may  be  imagined  with 
what  anguish  of  impatience  his  envoy,  who  was  only 


too  well  informed  of  what  was  passing  in  Paris,  waited 
in  enforced  inaction  for  an  opportunity  of  fulfilling  his 
mission.  All  was  postponed  to  the  absorbing  impor- 
tance of  the  election  and  coronation  of  the  Emperor 
which  at  last  took  place  on  the  i4th  of  July.  It  is 
disappointing,  but  somewhat  characteristic,  that  Mallet 
du  Pan  should  have  left  no  description  of  the  ceremony 
which  then  took  place  for  the  last  time  with  all  the 
ancient  pomp  of  the  Holy  Roman  Empire,  beyond 
remarking  in  a  letter  to  his  wife  on  the  sumptuousness 
of  the  imperial  equipages  and  liveries,  "  magnificence 
never  approached  by  the  court  of  Versailles,"  and 
observing  that  the  young  Emperor  was  the  object  of 
public  idolatry  and  had  won  all  hearts  by  the  charm, 
delicacy  and  modesty  of  his  features,  and  the  propriety 
of  his  speeches  and  bearing.  Little  did  he  or  any  of 
those  who  took  part  in  the  pageant  imagine  the  co- 
incidence, since  pointed  out,  that  at  the  same  moment 
the  last  King  of  the  old  monarchy  of  France  was  for 
the  second  time  renewing  his  oath  to  the  constitution 
on  the  Champ  de  Mars,  surrounded  by  an  armed  and 
hostile  multitude ;  little  did  they  foresee  that  he  was 
never  again  to  appear  among  his  people  till  he  was  led 
forth  to  execution,  or  that  the  war  which  was  about  to 
open  would  not  only  seal  his  fate,  but  would  ultimately 
prove  the  destruction  of  the  Empire  itself.  Even  now 
difficulties  of  etiquette  and  diplomatic  punctilio  delayed 
the  opening  of  the  negotiations ;  and  it  was  not  till 
Mallet  du  Pan  had  received  the  note  from  the  hand 
of  Louis  XVI.  which  is  itself  an  eloquent  and  pathetic 
witness  of  his  desperate  situation  l  that  he  was  able 

1  Facsimile  of  autograph   note  by  Louis  XVI.  transmitted  to 
Mallet  du  Pan  to  serve  as  his  credentials  during  his  mission  to  the 


to  triumph  over  the  intrigues  of  his  opponents  and 
especially  of  the  Russian  minister  Romanzoff,  and 
secure  his  presentation  to  the  Emperor,  the  Duke 
of  Brunswick,  and  the  King  of  Prussia,  the  latter  of 
whom  asked  many  questions  on  the  state  of  France 
and  the  position  of  the  royal  family.  Nothing  could 
apparently  have  been  more  satisfactory  than  the 
conferences  which  followed  between  Mallet  du  Pan 
and  Cobenzel  on  behalf  of  Austria  and  Haugwitz 
and  Hey  man  acting  for  Prussia.  The  ministers  de- 
clared the  intention  of  the  Powers  to  conform  in  all 
respects  to  the  wishes  of  the  King  of  France  ;  they 
assured  his  envoy  that  they  were  influenced  by  no 
views  of  ambition,  of  personal  interest  or  of  conquest 
in  entering  on  the  war,  they  approved  in  every  par- 
ticular of  his  draft  of  the  declaration  to  be  issued,  and 
they  showed  a  salutary  distrust  of  the  designs  of 
Coblentz.  Writing  on  the  i7th  of  July  to  his  wife, 
Mallet  du  Pan  said  :— 

"  For  the  last  week  I  have  been  up  to  the 
neck  in  business,  morning,  evening  and  even  at 
night.  I  cannot  describe  the  effect  produced  by  my 
journey,  my  memoranda,  my  conferences,  nor  the 
degree  of  confidence  which  has  been  shown  to  me. 
Everything  I  ask  is  granted,  and  I  could  not  have 
more  influence  if  I  had  been  a  minister  of  State. 
Everything  goes  well  and  in  conformity  with  the 

allied  sovereigns  at  Frankfort.    It  is  written  at  the  top  of  a  half  sheet 
of  notepaper,  and  is  unsigned. 

x  - 

fee.    ti*t>?  ****«•£—  ^^  J^vi***^"*** 


[La  personne  qui  presentera  ce  billet  connait  mes  intentions  on 
peut  prendre  confiance  a  ce  qu'elle  dira.] 


wishes  of  the  King,  who  has  expressed  to  me  his  great 
satisfaction."  He  mentioned  that  the  manifesto  was 
to  appear  at  the  end  of  the  month,  containing  the 
famous  warning  "  that  the  city  of  Paris  was  to  be 
held  responsible  for  the  safety  of  the  royal  family 
and  to  be  destroyed  by  fire  and  sword  if  they  were 
harmed,  non  plus  une  plaisanterie,  nous  touchons  au 
denouement ". 

His  work  seemed  done,  and  after  the  departure  of  the 
Emperor  on  the  iQth  Mallet  du  Pan  set  out  for  Geneva. 
On  the  25th  the  appearance  of  the  Brunswick  Manifesto 
showed  that  the  instructions,  the  advice,  the  procla- 
mation itself  which  he  had  brought  direct  from  the 
Tuileries  and  which  he  had  had  no  small  share  in 
inspiring,  had  been  disregarded  and  set  aside.1  The 
explanation  as  we  now  know  it  was  simple  enough. 
The  more  avowed  representatives  of  the  King  and 
Queen,  Breteuil,  Fersen  and  Mercy  Argenteau,  had 
used  language  with  regard  to  the  employment  of  force 
and  terror  which  harmonised  much  more  readily  with 
the  designs  of  the  King  of  Prussia  and  the  Emigre 
princes  than  the  more  politic  recommendations  of  the 
Genevese  agent,  and  Calonne  and  Fersen  had  little 
difficulty  in  inducing  the  two  monarchs  to  approve  of 
a  manifesto  re-written,  partly  indeed  on  his  lines,  by 
M.  de  Limon,  an  ex-intendant  of  the  Due  d'Orl^ans, 
deep  in  the  intrigues  of  the  Palais  Royal  and  of  the 
emigration.  The  judgment  of  the  Duke  of  Brunswick 

1  Bertrand  de  Moleville  records  in  his  Memoirs  that  Mallet  du 
Pan  received  by  the  king's  orders  2,000  ecus  for  his  expenses,  a  sum 
which  he  characteristically  refused  to  accept  unless  on  condition  of 
keeping  an  account  of  his  disbursements  and  returning  the  surplus  at 
the  close  of  the  negotiations.  The  account  of  the  Mission  given  in 
these  Memoirs  is  inaccurate  in  many  particulars. 


condemned  this  manifesto  which  he  modified  and  which 
he  afterwards  said  he  would  have  given  his  life  not  to 
have  signed,  but  his  essential  weakness  as  a  man  of 
action  was  revealed  when  he  allowed  his  scruples  to 
be  overborne  by  his  desire  to  stand  well  with  Prussia 
and  the  Princes.  The  opinion  of  the  unfortunate  King, 
most  deeply  concerned  but  least  consulted  in  the  whole 
transaction,  was  shown  by  his  commands  to  Mallet  du 
Pan  to  return  at  once  to  Frankfort,  commands  which 
he  did  not  receive  until  it  was  too  late  to  obey  them. 

The  essential  point  in  the  King's  opinion  as  shown 
in  Mallet  du  Pan's  instructions1  was  to  preserve  the 
character  of  a  foreign  war  waged  by  one  Power  against 
another,2  to  eliminate  all  idea  of  collusion  between  Louis 
XVI.  and  the  foreign  courts,  to  bring  about  as  a  result 
of  war  an  arbitration  between  the  King  and  the  foreign 
Powers  on  the  one  hand  and  between  the  King  and  the 
French  nation  on  the  other.  The  language  to  be  used 
was  such  as  to  inspire  both  terror  and  confidence. 
Extreme  threats  were  to  be  used  only  against  the 
extreme  leaders  of  the  Revolution  who  were  carefully 
distinguished  from  the  people,  while  stress  was  laid 
on  the  danger  and  injustice  of  confounding  the  less 
extreme  factions  with  the  Jacobins.  Any  design  for 

1  This  important  document  was  printed  in  Prof.  Smythe's  Lectures 
on  the  French  Revolution,  vol.  ii.,  and  in  Sayous'  Life,  vol.  i.,  p.  427. 
M.  Albert  Sorel  (L Europe  et  la  Revolution,  ii.,  475  sqq.  and  508  sqq.) 
gives  a  detailed  account  of  the  negotiations,  and  of  Mallet's  part  in 
them  ;  as  also  does  Mr.  J.  H.  Clapham  in  his  recent  able  and  scholarly 
essay  on  the  Causes  of  the  War  of  1792  (Cambridge,  1899),  p.  210  sqq. 

2 "  Le  roi  joint  ses  prieres  aux  exhortations  pour  engager  les 
Princes  et  les  Fran9ais  emigres  a  ne  point  faire  perdre  a  la  guerre 
actuelle,  par  un  concours  hostile  et  offensif  de  leur  part,  le  caractere 
de  guerre  etrangere,  faite  de  Puissance  a  Puissance." 


the  dismemberment  of  the  kingdom  was  to  be  dis- 
claimed by  the  allies.  Convinced  that  France  would 
never  submit  to  the  re-establishment  of  the  ancien 
regime  and  never  weary  of  insisting  on  the  necessity 
of  recognising  this  fact,  Mallet  had  urged  that  at  least 
no  form  of  government  should  be  proposed  for  the 
country,  and  that  the  declaration  should  be  confined 
to  a  simple  statement  that  the  Powers  were  arming  for 
the  re-establishment  of  the  monarchy  and  the  legiti- 
mate royal  authority,  the  freedom  of  the  King  and  the 
restoration  of  peace.  They  would  treat  only  with  the 
King,  and  after  his  release  a  general  plan  of  restoration 
under  the  auspices  of  the  Powers  would  be  determined 
on.  The  language  used  though  strong  and  decided 
was  not  violent,  and  there  was  perhaps  a  chance  that 
the  frank,  vigorous  and  reasonable  tone  of  such  a 
document  might  have  appealed  to  the  better  sense  of 
the  nation.  It  went  at  all  events  as  far  in  the  path 
of  conciliation  as  the  disastrous  condition  of  things 
admitted  of. 

The  terms  of  the  Brunswick  Manifesto  destroyed 
what  little  chance  of  success  there  had  been  in  Mallet's 
mission.  Some  of  his  bases  were  indeed  retained,  but 
while  the  weapon  of  terror  was  freely  resorted  to  all 
that  might  have  inspired  confidence  disappeared.  The 
manifesto  was  haughty  and  inflammatory  in  its  language, 
and  the  threats  indiscriminately  levelled  against  all  who 
had  acquiesced  in  the  Revolution  were  but  poorly 
counterbalanced  by  a  paragraph  which  extended  the 
protection  of  the  allies  to  those  who  should  instantly 
concur  in  the  re-establishment  of  order.  As  Morris 
observed  it  might  be  translated  :  "  Be  all  against  me  for 
I  am  opposed  to  you  all ;  and  make  a  good  resistance 


for  there  is  no  longer  any  hope ! "  So,  indeed,  it  was 
understood  in  France  in  so  far  as  it  had  any  visible  or 
serious  effect  ('  la  declaration  du  due  de  Brunswick] 
wrote  a  well-qualified  observer  to  Mallet  du  Pan,  '  ne 
fait  aitcune  sensation :  on  en  rit '),  and  it  is  more  than 
doubtful  whether  Mallet's  draft,  had  it  been  adopted, 
would  have  had  a  different  effect.  The  differences 
between  the  two  documents,  serious  as  they  are,  are 
chiefly  differences  of  detail  and  manner.  They  agree 
in  their  pretension  of  interference  in  the  affairs  of  a 
foreign  State,  in  their  appeal  to  one  party  against 
another,  in  their  ostensible  object,  a  restoration  of  the 
power  of  the  King  by  means  of  a  counter-revolution 
to  be  effected  if  necessary  by  force,  and  it  is  difficult 
to  understand  how  Mallet  du  Pan  could  have  persuaded 
himself  that  a  foreign  war,  conducted  as  he  had  re- 
commended, would  have  been  preferable  in  its  results 
to  a  civil  war,  or  would  have  averted  its  horrors.  That 
he  had  been  hopeful  is  clear  from  the  tenor  of  his  letters, 
and  it  is  perhaps  not  unnatural  that,  absorbed  in  the 
negotiation  in  the  success  of  which  both  the  King 
and  his  envoy  had  persuaded  themselves  lay  the  only 
hope  of  safety,  Mallet  should  have  lost  sight  for  the 
moment  of  the  truth,  of  which  no  one  was  better  aware 
than  himself,  that  the  mission  was  at  best  a  desperate 
expedient  to  avert  the  worst  consequences  of  war.  That 
he  was  profoundly  conscious  of  the  impolicy  of  the 
manifesto  actually  issued  is  evident  from  his  frequent 
references  to  it  in  after  years.1 

1  He  wrote  for  instance  in  1796:  "Les  allies  debutent  par  un 
manifeste  tel  qu'on  1'eut  ecrit  sur  le  champ  de  deux  victoires,  et  qui 
met  au  ban  de  leur  jurisdiction  et  de  leurs  bayonnettes  les  quatre 
cinquiemes  d'une  nation  de  24  millions  d'ames"  (Correspondanct 
pour  seruir,  etc.). 


For  the  moment,  however,  such  thoughts  and  his 
own  disappointment  at  the  result  of  the  negotiations 
into  which  he  had  thrown  himself  with  so  much  energy 
were  put  aside,  while  he  watched  the  development  of 
the  policy  of  force  upon  which  the  Powers  were  now 
embarked.  There  are  many  indications  that  he  thought 
the  military  triumph  of  the  foreign  armies  not  improb- 
able, and  his  belief  that  a  denouement  in  this  sense  was 
about  to  be  reached  was  strengthened  by  the  view 
of  the  imposing  preparations  of  the  allies  at  Frankfort. 
There  is  indeed  little  doubt  that  if  Brunswick  had  con- 
ducted his  campaign  with  vigour  and  determination  he 
might  have  justified  the  policy  of  the  manifesto,  and 
had  Paris  at  his  feet  in  a  few  weeks.  "  I  am  persuaded," 
wrote  Morris  from  Paris,  "that  he  would  have  met 
with  as  much  support  as  opposition."  But  unequal  to 
the  occasion  in  war  as  he  had  been  in  council,  Bruns- 
wick threw  away  the  chance,1  and  from  his  refuge  at 
Geneva  Mallet  du  Pan  could  only  follow  with  growing 
consternation  the  disastrous  repulse  of  the  foreign  in- 

1  "  Le  malheur  du  due  de  Brunswick  fut  d'avoir  trop  ecoute  les 
emigres,  il  partagea  leurs  illusions,  et  la  resistance  inattendue  qu'il 
rencontra  le  surprit  au  point  de  1'intimider  et  de  lui  faire  perdre  con- 
tenance.  A  la  canonnade  de  Valmy  le  20  septembre,  le  due  de 
Brunswick  apergut  la  cavalerie  Franchise  a  pied,  et  dont  les  chevaux 
non  brides  mangeaient  encore  le  foin.  II  se  retourna  vers  ses  assis- 
tants et  leur  dit,  '  Voyez,  Messieurs,  a  quelles  troupes  nous  avons  a 
faire,  qui  attendent  avec  sang-froid  que  nous  soyons  sur  elles  pour 
raonter  a  cheval  et  nous  charger ! '  Cette  pensee  lui  fit  ralentir 
1'action.  Eh  bien  !  Ton  a  su  depuis,  avec  certitude,  et  Dumouriez  1'a 
confirm^  a  Bruxelles,  que  cette  meme  cavalerie  lui  avait  formellement 
et  obstinement  resiste  sur  1'ordre  de  monter  a  cheval  et  qu'elle  £tait 
decidee  a  se  rendre  aux  Prussiens  !  .  .  .  Le  due  s'etait  imagine"  qu'il 
irait  a  Paris  sans  tirer  un  coup  de  fusil."  (From  Mallet  du  Pan's  notes.) 


vaders,  disorganised  by  the  very  engine  of  terror  which 
was  to  have  crushed  the  revolutionary  leaders  ;  and  the 
welter  of  events  in  Paris,  where,  in  the  rising  of  the 
loth  of  August  organised  by  Danton,  and  the  mas- 
sacres of  September — his  "sombre  acquiescence"  in 
which  is  the  one  great  blot  on  his  reputation  if  he  is  to 
be  judged  from  the  plane  of  civilised  statesmanship — the 
Girondist  fiction  of  constitutional  government  had  dis- 
appeared. The  mighty  contest  of  the  Revolution 
against  Europe  had  in  fact  opened.  It  is  one  of  the 
claims  of  Mallet  du  Pan  to  distinction  that  he  was 
the  earliest  to  recognise  the  new  phase  of  the  great 
convulsion,  and  that  he  did  not  hesitate  to  take  his 
part  on  the  wider  stage  of  European  politics  with  the 
same  unsolicited  and  unrewarded  devotion  which  he 
had  displayed  in  the  championship  of  the  principles 
of  social  order  in  France  itself. 

Meanwhile  at  Geneva  Mallet  du  Pan  had  rejoined 
his  wife  and  children,  who  had  just  about  this  time 
escaped  from  Paris.  When  he  left  the  capital  in  May— 

"my  mother,"  writes  her  son,  "actuated  by  considera- 
tions of  duty,  and  in  consequence  of  the  desire  felt 
by  my  father  and  his  political  friends  on  the  occasion 
of  his  mission  to  Frankfort  that  his  departure  should 
be  kept  as  quiet  as  possible,  and  that  his  domestic 
establishment  should  not  be  broken  up,  remained  alone 
in  Paris  with  her  young  family  for  nearly  four  months, 
during  a  period  of  the  most  fearful  excitement.  She 
afterwards  set  out  in  the  diligence,  then  the  safest 
conveyance,  with  her  three  young  children  and  one 
maid-servant  who  had  come  with  us  to  Paris  in  1783, 
to  join  my  father  at  Geneva ;  and  this,  in  August  1792 
within  a  month  of  the  massacres  of  September.  She 
left  our  apartments  in  the  Rue  de  Tournon  with  the 


whole  of  the  furniture  and  library  in  charge  of  a  friend 
who  was  afterwards  obligeu  to  fly  for  his  life,  and  the 
whole  was  seized  by  the  patriots  and  sold."  * 

The  son,  then  a  boy  living  in  Geneva  with  an 
uncle,  goes  on  to  give  an  interesting  account  of  the 
state  of  things  in  that  city  :— 

"The  delight  of  being  again  united  to  my  family 
far  outweighed  the  melancholy  circumstances  of  their 
return.  We  were  all  sanguine  as  to  the  interference  of 
the  foreign  Powers,  and  the  respect  and  consideration 
shown  to  my  father  at  Geneva  were  particularly  gratify- 
ing to  us :  but  the  storm  soon  thickened  both  far  and 
near.  The  loth  of  August  and  the  massacre  of  the 
Swiss  Guards  at  Paris  produced  a  general  consternation 
in  the  Swiss  cantons,  and  threw  many  families  into 
mourning.  In  the  month  of  September  following,  the 
French  army  under  Montesquiou  entered  Savoy  in 
defiance  of  all  treaties  and  advanced  within  gunshot 
of  the  gates  of  Geneva.  There  were  at  this  time  a 
great  number  of  French  and  Savoyard  emigrants  in 
the  town,  who  were  advised  to  remove  without  delay  ; 
and  what  with  the  number  of  Savoyards  who  fled 
before  the  French,  and  those  who  were  hurrying  away 
from  Geneva  to  the  Pays  de  Vaud,  such  a  scene  of 
bustle,  dismay,  and  confusion  as  was  then  exhibited 
can  hardly  be  conceived.  Geneva  was  not  secure  from 
a  coup  de  main,  and  contained  a  numerous  party  who 
were  watching  their  opportunity.  The  magistrates 
therefore  decided  to  place  the  town  in  a  state  of  defence, 
and  to  call  upon  the  cantons  of  Berne  and  Zurich  for 
the  assistance  to  which  we  were  entitled  by  treaty. 
The  Government  of  Berne  had  not  been  looking 
passively  on.  The  approach  of  the  French  had  excited 
hopes  in  the  Pays  de  Vaud  which  it  became  necessary 
to  check,  and  some  thousand  hardy  and  faithful  high- 

1  Reminiscences. 


landers  from  the  German  part  of  the  canton  were 
marched  to  the  frontier  to  watch  the  French  and  the 
discontented  Vaudois.  One  thousand  of  these  troops 
and  five  hundred  men  from  Zurich  were  ordered  to 
Geneva,  and  in  the  meanwhile  the  town  exhibited  a 
scene  of  the  greatest  novelty  and  interest.  The  whole 
available  population  was  armed :  those  that  were 
already  embodied  in  the  town  Militia  wore  their  uni- 
forms ;  those  that  were  not,  wore  their  military  accoutre- 
ments over  their  plain  clothes.  A  grand  guard  was 
mounted  every  day,  the  gates  and  outposts  relieved, 
and  all  the  people  who  were  not  on  duty  and  could  be 
spared  from  their  trades  and  domestic  occupations 
were  employed  in  working  on  the  ramparts.  Such  a 
scene  had  not  occurred  since  the  Massacre  of  St. 
Bartholomew  on  which  occasion  the  town  had  been 
placed  in  a  state  of  siege,  and  even  the  maidservants 
worked  on  the  ramparts  in  the  intervals  of  domestic 
labour!  It  was  in  the  midst  of  these  active  prepara- 
tions that  the  Swiss  Confederates  arrived.  The  French 
village  of  Versoix,  situated  on  the  Swiss  side  of  the 
lake  within  five  miles  of  Geneva,  interrupted  the 
direct  communication  with  Switzerland.  Our  allies, 
therefore,  embarked  at  Nion,  in  the  Pays  de  Vaud. 
They  were  met  by  the  fleet  of  the  Republic,  consisting 
of  several  large  barges,  armed  with  caronades,  with 
flags  flying  and  bands  playing  ;  and  on  their  landing  at 
the  Molard  (the  port  of  Geneva),  the  air  resounded 
with  acclamations,  the  inhabitants  crowding  to  the 
shore  welcomed  and  embraced  the  Confederate  troops 
and  conducted  them  arm  in  arm  to  their  quarters, 
singing  patriotic  songs  all  the  way.  I  remember  see- 
ing many  individuals  of  both  sexes  affected  to  tears. 
The  old  Swiss  spirit  seemed  to  have  revived  and 
to  defy  all  aggression  ;  and  although  more  attentive 
observers  might  have  discerned  symptoms  of  weakness 
and  irresolution  in  the  Confederate  councils,  the  in- 
toxicating nature  of  patriotic  and  warlike  feelings  left 


no  room  for  reflection,  and  every  heart  glowed  with 
the  spirit  of  a  John  de  Bubenberg  or  an  Arnold  de 

"  Far  other  thoughts  predominated  in  the  minds 
of  the  base  and  revengeful  Genevese  who  influenced 
the  councils  of  France.  Regardless  of  the  independ- 
ence of  their  country  and  of  the  ties  of  home,  they  had 
caused  instructions  to  be  given  to  Montesquiou  to  show 
no  mercy  at  Geneva.  Montesquiou  was  a  gentleman 
and  a  man  of  letters,  and  his  sympathies  were  all  on  the 
side  of  the  little  State  that  had  given  birth  to  Rousseau, 
Bonnet  and  De  Saussure.  When  our  deputies  waited 
on  him,  he  accordingly  expressed  the  greatest  abhor- 
rence of  the  spirit  by  which  Claviere  and  his  Paris 
associates  were  actuated,  and  concluded  in  September 
1792  a  treaty  by  which  the  neutrality  of  Switzerland 
was  recognised.  This  treaty  was  ratified  at  Paris,  but 
excited  so  much  resentment  among  the  Girondists  and 
Jacobins  that  Montesquiou  sought  a  refuge  from  these 
implacable  men  among  the  happy  people  from  whose 
country  he  had  warded  off  the  scourge  of  war.  He 
abruptly  left  his  camp  and  rode  to  Geneva,  dressed  in 
his  plain  clothes  and  attended  by  a  single  aide-de-camp, 
and  after  communicating  with  some  members  of  the 
Government  took  boat,  and  in  the  evening  of  the  same 
day  reached  Lausanne  from  whence  he  sent  his  resig- 
nation to  Paris. 

"  Tranquillity  and  peace  being  thus  apparently 
restored,  the  citizens  returned  to  their  several  occu- 
pations and  the  Confederate  troops  left  us.  It  was, 
however,  obvious  that  the  tide  was  turning.  The 
French  Revolution  was  at  its  height.  Proselytism 
was  the  order  of  the  day  ;  and  surrounded  as  we  now 
were  on  every  side  by  the  French  territory,  hopes 
and  fears  changed  sides ;  and  the  timid  herd,  always 
a  large  part  of  the  flock,  began  to  look  to  the  Revolu- 
tionary party  for  protection."  l 

1  Reminiscences. 


Spied  upon  by  the  French  diplomatic  agents  in 
Geneva,  Mallet  was  too  marked  a  man  to  be  able  to 
remain  there  after  the  departure  of  the  Swiss  troops. 
Embarking  accordingly  with  the  Bernese  staff  he 
proceeded  to  Lausanne,  the  capital  of  the  Pays  de 
Vaud,  on  a  visit  to  his  friend  Baron  d'Erlach  de 
Spietz,  Bailli  of  Lausanne,  while  his  wife  took  up  her 
residence  in  the  house  of  one  of  her  relations,  a  Madame 
de  Montaqui  in  the  same  place. 

"  The  Chateau  de  Lausanne  and  the  Montaquis' 
house  had  nothing  in  common  save  their  beautiful 
site.  The  chateau  is  an  old  baronial  residence,  with 
all  the  massive  circumstances  of  feudal  architecture ; 
the  aspect  of  the  place  was  altogether  gloomy  and 
uninviting,  and  I  cannot  say  that  its  moral  atmosphere 
was  calculated  to  dispel  those  feelings.  The  Baron 
d'Erlach  was  a  proud,  aristocratic  person,  extremely 
unpopular  at  Lausanne.  He  was  the  head  of  the 
elder  branch  of  an  ancient,  noble  and  distinguished 
family ;  and  the  haughtiness  of  the  oligarch  was  not 
softened  by  those  domestic  virtues  which  are  often 
found  to  temper  republican  manners.  His  wife  was 
a  De  Watville,  another  of  the  six  noble  families  of 
Berne ;  but  there  was  an  expression  of  settled  melan- 
choly in  her  countenance  which  was,  I  fear,  a  true 
index  to  the  feelings  within.  The  Montaquis  were 
the  very  reverse  of  all  this :  a  Pays  de  Vaud  gentle- 
man in  moderate  circumstances,  ill-educated,  fond  of 
his  wife  and  his  bottle,  but  a  '  mere  lodger  in  his  own 
house,'  and  leaving  his  wife  to  regulate  matters  as  she 
pleased.  The  whole  family  did  not  seem  to  have  the 
semblance  of  a  care,  and  such  another  spot  of  earth  as 
that  on  which  they  lived  can  hardly  be  found  on  this 
side  of  Paradise.  It  had  been  the  residence  of  Gibbon, 
and  is  well  known  as  such  :  a  stone  house  with  only  a 
basement  storey  and  a  first  floor,  consisting  of  well- 


distributed  apartments  running  parallel  to  and  com- 
municating by  folding  doors  with  a  terrace  in  a  south 
aspect,  planted  with  lime  trees,  and  commanding  a 
prospect  at  once  the  most  cheerful  and  lovely,  and  the 
most  sublime,  that  can  be  conceived.  From  the  terrace 
to  the  lake  meadows  and  plantations  and  gardens  in 
all  the  luxuriance  of  vegetation  ;  then  the  deep  blue 
water  for  about  nine  miles,  bounded  by  the  rocks  of 
Meillerie  and  the  receding  Alps. 

"  On  referring  to  my  mother's  letters  to  my  father 
during  his  stay  next  year  at  Brussels,  I  am  struck  with 
many  circumstances  which  show  the  degree  of  consid- 
eration he  enjoyed  at  that  time.  Baron  d'Erlach  and 
other  persons  of  consequence  at  Lausanne,  both  natives 
and  foreigners,  assiduously  sought  his  correspondence ; 
and  copies  of  his  letters  were  sent  about  all  over  the 
country.  The  greatest  attentions  were  paid  to  my 
mother  and  sisters  by  every  person  of  note  ;  and  the 
Sardinian  minister,  in  consequence  of  some  communi- 
cation from  my  father  interesting  to  his  Court,  made 
my  mother  a  present  of  plate."  l 

With  Baron  d'Erlach  therefore  who,  whatever  his 
domestic  qualities  may  have  been,  was  at  all  events  a 
resolute  and  public-spirited  officer  and  a  good  friend 
Mallet  du  Pan  remained  for  some  months,  occupied 
with  attempts  at  the  Court  of  Sardinia  where  he 
had  formed  close  relations  with  Mr.  Trevor,  British 
minister  at  Turin,  and  in  other  quarters  even  at 
Coblentz  itself,2  to  inspire  a  policy  similar  to  that 
which  he  had  preached  at  Frankfort.  To  this  period 
belongs  his  first  acquaintance  with  two  frequent 
correspondents,  the  young  Marquis  de  Sales,  great- 
great-nephew  of  St.  Francois  de  Sales,  and  Count 

1  Reminiscences. 

2Descostes,  Revolution  vue  a  Fetranger,  p.  275. 


Joseph  de  Maistre,  the  latter  of  whom  had  written  to 
him  some  months  before  asking  his  advice  and  assist- 
ance as  to  the  publication  of  his  first  book.  '  Qui  vous 
a  lu  vous  estime!  were  the  first  words  of  his  letter,  and 
their  intercourse  was  agreeable  to  both  men,  though 
later  events  brought  into  relief  the  fundamental  differ- 
ence in  their  political  points  of  view.  "  A  great  bigot 
in  politics,"  is  young  Mallet's  comment  on  their  new 
friend,  "but  a  most  agreeable  man." 

It  may  be  imagined  that  Mallet  du  Pan,  whose 
momentary  hopes  had  been  dashed  by  the  miserable 
fiasco  of  the  Brunswick  campaign,  and  who  foresaw 
the  inevitable  result  of  revolutionary  agitation  in  his 
own  country,  must  have  been  looking  for  a  settled  home 
and  occupation,  and  his  thoughts  seem  to  have  turned 
to  England  where  his  friends  Malouet  and  the  Chevalier 
de  Panat  had  taken  refuge,  and  to  Germany  whence 
Montlosier  was  writing  with  offers  of  co-operation  and 
assistance.  But  the  execution  of  Louis  XVI.,  with  its 
challenge  to  the  monarchs  and  peoples  of  the  Continent 
which  inaugurated  a  new  war  of  principles  against 
France,  appealed  irresistibly  to  his  conscience  as  a 
publicist.  Already  in  his  last  article  in  the  Mercure 
he  had  insisted  on  the  need  for  common  and  public- 
spirited  action  among  all  who  desired  the  restoration 
of  order,  and  he  felt  that  with  his  knowledge  and  per- 
ception of  the  tendencies  of  the  Revolution  he  might  as 
a  simple  individual  do  something  to  inspire  an  effectual 
resistance  among  the  members  of  the  coalition.  At 
this  moment,  too,  the  French  Princes,  remembering 
perhaps  his  confidential  position  to  their  dead  Brother 
and  their  own  disregard  of  his  advice,  seem  to  have 
applied  for  his  help,  as  they  henceforth  regularly  did 



whenever  their  own  plans  went  most  astray ;  it  was  at 
all  events  a  letter  from  Marshal  de  Castries  proposing 
an  interview  that  finally  decided  him  to  set  out  for 
Brussels.  Before  doing  so  he  had  addressed  notes  on 
the  real  character  of  the  war  and  the  revolutionary 
factions  to  the  Kings  of  Prussia  and  Sardinia  which 
were  read  and  praised  but  which  produced  no  visible 
effect,  unless  the  agreement  at  this  time  between  the 
latter  and  the  British  Government  may  be  considered 
to  have  been  in  some  measure  the  result  of  his  informa- 
tion and  advice. 

These  notes  are  interesting  as  the  first  of  a  long 
series  of  diplomatic  memoranda  which  Mallet  du  Pan 
continued  to  furnish  by  request  to  the  various  Govern- 
ments at  war  with  France  and  which,  varied  by  the 
occasional  publication  of  a  vigorous  pamphlet,  formed 
as  we  shall  see  his  chief  means  of  influence,  and  the 
source  both  of  his  reputation  and  of  his  support 
until  his  brief  return  to  journalism  at  the  close  of  his 

For  Brussels,  then,  Mallet  set  out  in  April  and 
after  some  fruitless  wanderings  in  search  of  Marshal 
de  Castries,  who  was  continually  on  the  move  with  the 
Regent,  reached  that  city  in  June  1793.  It  was  then 
the  centre  of  political  and  military  activity,  and  full  of 
diplomats  and  statesmen  intent  on  the  campaign  which 
was  about  to  open  under  the  Prince  of  Coburg.  '  Ce 
nest  plus  la  vie  paisible  du  Chateau  de  Lausanne]  he 
wrote  to  his  wife  (2nd  July).  He  soon  found  himself 
in  relation  with  the  principal  personages  assembled 
there,  and  deep  in  visits,  conferences,  writings,  and 
business  of  all  sorts,  he  no  longer  regretted  his  failure 
to  meet  the  French  Princes,  intercourse  with  whom 


as  he  quickly  discovered  would  have  destroyed  his 
chances  of  usefulness  with  the  Ministers  of  the  allies. 
Count  de  Mercy  Argenteau,  who  was  still  all-powerful, 
and  Baron  de  Breteuil  found  his  assistance  of  such 
value  that  they  earnestly  pressed  him  to  remain  at 
headquarters  until  some  issue  had  been  reached,  and 
he  was  constantly  in  communication  with  Lord  Elgin, 
the  British  minister,  dining  with  him  twice  a  week. 
He  also  formed  a  friendship  with  another  Englishman, 
Sir  John  Macpherson,  through  whom  he  was  presented 
to  the  Archduke  Charles,  Governor  of  the  Netherlands, 
to  become  celebrated  later  on  as  the  one  successful 
Austrian  general.  The  Archduke  received  him  with 
distinction  and  conversed  with  him  on  public  affairs, 
an  opportunity  of  which  Mallet  availed  himself  to  speak 
with  a  frankness  to  which  the  Prince  was  not  accus- 
tomed, but  which  he  flattered  himself  did  not  give 
offence.1  His  letters  expressed  a  natural  satisfaction 
at  the  really  remarkable  welcome  he  there  found  for 
his  ideas  and  counsels,  and  some  hopefulness  of  a 
favourable  termination  of  the  struggle  ;  while,  as  to  his 
own  future,  he  assured  his  wife  that  many  avenues  of 
useful  and  profitable  employment  were  open  to  him. 
During  these  July  days  he  made  an  expedition  to 
witness  the  siege  of  Valenciennes,  nineteen  leagues 
away,  visiting  the  camp  and  the  trenches  where  he 
and  his  friends  were  regaled  with  cannon-balls,  one  of 
which  passed  him  a  few  paces  off  through  an  opening 
in  a  battery,  and  he  described  his  astonishment  at  the 

1 "  Ce  prince  interessant  a  le  jugement  d'un  Allemand,  la  pene- 
tration d'un  Italien  et  1'elevation,  d'ame  d'un  Espagnol.  On  sait 
qu'il  participe  de  ces  trois  natures,  par  son  pere  et  sa  mere  et  par  sa 
naissance  et  son  Education  en  Toscane  "  (Notes). 


spectacle  of  a  siege  of  that  day,  with  the  constant 
explosion  of  bombs,  the  tintamarre  of  the  cannon,  and 
the  sight  of  the  wounded  men. 

Towards  the  beginning  of  August  he  published,  with 
the  approval  of  the  foreign  representatives,  a  work  which 
was  to  make  a  prodigious  sensation,  and  which  is  still  the 
best  known  of  his  writings,  his  Considerations  on  the 
Revolution.1  The  ideas  and  even  much  of  the  language 
of  this  pamphlet  are  familiar  enough  to  students,  but 
it  must  be  remembered  that  few  if  any  of  those  who 
read  it  in  1793  had  any  real  notion  of  the  character 
of  the  events  which  were  taking  place  in  France,  or  of 
their  probable  reaction  on  the  other  countries  of  Europe. 
Pitt  himself  said  that  before  reading  Mallet's  pamphlet 
he  had  had  no  idea  of  the  French  Revolution.2  With 
intuitive  political  sagacity,  ripened  by  the  study  of 
events,  Mallet  du  Pan  had  realised  the  essential  con- 
ditions of  the  problem  such  as  we  know  them  to-day, 
while  his  contemporaries  were  still  under  the  impression 
that  the  struggle  against  the  Revolution  was  an  ordin- 
ary international  war  to  be  conducted  on  the  usual 
lines.  In  order  to  rouse  Europe  to  a  sense  of  the 
dangers  of  this  course  it  was  necessary  to  describe 
(a  task  which  Mallet  du  Pan  always  performed  with  the 
hand  of  a  master)  the  varying  aims  of  the  revolutionary 
factions,  their  contests,3  and  the  emergence  of  the  only 
one  which  could  be  properly  termed  a  party,  that  ' fac- 

1  Considerations  sur  la  nature  de  la  Revolution  de  France  et  sur 
les  causes  qui  en  prolongent  la  duree,  Brussels,  1793.     It  had  a  large 
circulation  in  several  editions,  and  was  translated  into  English. 

2  See  Memoirs  of  Malouet,  vol.  ii.,  p.  502. 

3  The  phrase  "  a  1'exemple  de  Saturne  la  Revolution  devore  ses 
enfants  "  occurs  in  this  pamphlet. 


tion  atroce '  whose  objects  were  the  establishment  of 
the  Republic,  the  absolute  levelling  of  rank  and  fortunes, 
and  the  subversion  of  social  order.  He  had  to  trace 
the  steps  by  which,  with  the  assistance  of  the  emigres l 
and  the  Brunswick  manifesto,  Jacobinism  had  become 
identified  with  militarism/'2  '  Ilfaut  incendier  les  quatre 
coins  de  £  Europe]  Brissot  had  proclaimed,  '  notre  salut 
est  la'  The  threat  was  no  empty  one;  the  Revolu- 
tion had  become  cosmopolitan,8  and  to  meet  such  a 
movement  it  was  necessary  to  appeal  to  the  public 

1  The  Revolution  owes  the  horrible  character  it  has  assumed 
during  the  last  year  "  a  cette  emigration  systematique  qui  separa  le 
monarque  de  ses  defenseurs,  le  royaume  des  royalistes,  les  proprietes 
des  proprietaires,   un   parti  de  ses  partisans,  .  .  .  a  ce  torrent  de 
promesses  et  de   menaces   impuissantes   repandues  par  d'aveugles 
ecrivains,  et  qui,  en  fournissant  aux  Jacobins  des  pretextes  de  crimes 
et  des  instruments  de  domination,  avaient  use  le  ressort  de  la  crainte 
lorsque  1'armee  alliee  se  presenta  sur  les  frontieres,  .  .  .  au  concours 
de  1' emigration  avec  1'intervention  des  etrangers,  .  .  .  et  a  1'eclat  des 
divisions  qui  partageaient  les  royalistes.    Enfin  cette  guerre  exterieure 
si  desiree  vint  achever  la  revolution  qu'elle  devait  aneantir." 

2  "  Peu  de  gens  observent  que  par  sa  nature  destructive  la  Re"- 
volution  amene  necessairement  la  republique  militaire.     Supprimer 
les  ateliers,  les  chantiers,  la  navigation,  la  bourse  et  les  metiers,  c'est  se 
cre*er  une  pepiniere  d'instruments  de  crimes  au  dedans,  et  de  regiments 
pour  le  dehors.  .  .  . 

"  La  revolution  et  la  guerre  sont  inseparables,  elles  ont  une  tige 

3 "  Chaque  Europeen  est  aujourd'hui  partie  dans  ce  dernier  combat 
de  la  civilisation,  nous  avons  corps  et  biens  sur  le  vaisseau  entr'ouvert, 
or,  a  la  veille  du  naufrage  on  ne  peut — 

Laisser  la  crainte  au  pilote, 
Et  la  manoeuvre  aux  matelots. 

Tout  homme  a  le  droit  de  montrer  ses  inquietudes ;  la  Revolution  e"tant 
pour  ainsi  dire  cosmopolite,  elle  cesse  d'appartenir  aux  Fran?ais  exclu- 


opinion  of  Europe ;  to  enlist  in  the  cause  of  defence 
the  moral  weapons  of  the  aggressor,1  enthusiasm,  self- 
interest,  belief  in  the  cause,  single-minded  concentra- 
tion on  the  struggle ;  to  point  out  the  objects  of  the 
Jacobin  leaders,2  the  feebleness  of  the  methods  by 
which  they  had  hitherto  been  opposed,  and  the  inevit- 
able and  fatal  results  of  half-hearted  resistance  on 
both  France  and  Europe.  Even  more  interesting  is 
the  recognition  shown  by  the  author  of  the  underlying 
causes  of  revolution,3  and  his  frank  condemnation  of 
plans  of  counter-revolution,  "  a  phrase  which  prudence 
should  have  proscribed  "  and  which  had  given  more 
arms  to  the  Republic  than  the  tricolour  cockade.  Those 
ultra- Royalists  who  uttered  the  terrible  cry,  '  Tout  ou 
Rien?  had  merely  dictated  a  war-cry  to  their  enemies,4 
for  the  Jacobin  conquest,  invasion  of  barbarism  though 
it  might  be  as  he  himself  had  portrayed  it,  was  yet 
founded  on  the  genuine  and  universal  unpopularity  of 

1 "  D'abord  on  aper?oit  qu'outre  les  instruments  communs  a  toutes 
les  Puissances,  savoir :  les  canons,  les  soldats,  et  1'argent  ou  ce  qui  le 
re'presente,  la  Convention  de  Paris  met  a  ses  ordres  .  .  .  tous  les 
prestiges  de  1'opinion,  1'energie  de  1'enthousiasme,  les  fascinations  de 
la  plume  et  de  la  parole,  les  passions  qui  ont  le  plus  d'empire  sur  le 
coeur  humain,  etc." 

2 "  De  meme  que  le  Mammon  du  Paradis  perdu  a  les  yeux  toujours 
fixes  sur  le  parvis  d'or  de  la  demeure  celeste,  la  Convention  a  ses 
griffes  dresse*es  sur  les  proprie'te's  publiques  et  privies  de  1'etranger." 

8  "  Une  revolution  est  essentiellement  un  deplacement  de  pouvoir, 
lequel  s'opere  necessairement  toutes  les  fois  que  1'ancien  pouvoir  n'a 
plus  de  force  de  prote"ger  la  chose  publique,  ou  le  courage  de  se 
protdger  lui-meme." 

4"Je  proteste  au  nom  de  tous  les  vrais  Royalistes  centre  une 
profession  dont  la  publicite  en  France  equivaudrait  a  la  perte  de  deux 
batailles,  immortaliserait  la  Revolution,  et  creerait  aux  Puissances 
plus  de  difficultes  et  de  dangers  que  tous  les  clubs  des  tyrannicides." 


the  old  monarchy,  its  agents  and  its  accessories.  These 
last  were  gone  for  ever,  and  many  were  the  interests 
created  by  their  fall  which  bound  great  classes  of  the 
population  to  resist  their  restoration.  The  Revolution 
had  its  roots  in  opinion  and  in  sentiment,  in  the  sufferings 
of  the  masses,  in  the  growing  inequality  of  conditions ; 
it  could  not  be  met  and  combated  by  war  alone  ('jamais 
des  canons  ne  tuerent  des  sentiments ') ;  without  moral 
domination  it  had  become  impossible  to  govern  men. 
The  submission  which  alone  was  to  be  desired  could 
spring  only  from  force  and  persuasion  united,1  and 
those  who  aspired  to  crush  the  savage  anarchy  of  the 
Revolution  must  take  pains  to  disabuse  the  French 
people  of  the  idea  that  the  Powers  were  leagued  to- 
gether in  the  interests  of  despotism,  and  that,  having 
brought  about  a  counter-revolution  by  force,  they  would 
maintain  it  by  the  gallows  and  plunge  again  into 
slavery  a  nation  already  too  much  punished  for  having 
mistaken  the  nature  of  true  freedom.  If,  he  ventured 
to  say,  the  cause  of  the  allies  was  merely  the  cause  of 
the  Monarchs,  as  the  actions  and  speeches  of  the  Princes 
and  emigre's  too  loudly  proclaimed,  the  Revolution  would 
indeed  be  indestructible.2  If  the  revolutionary  principle, 
was  to  be  crushed  it  would  be  necessary  to  remember 

1 "  Toutes  les  Revolutions  offrent  un  melange  d'enthousiasme,  de 
me'chancetd  et  de  faiblesse.  L'art  de  les  combattre  consiste  done 
a  subjuguer  la  mechancete",  a  desenchanter  1'enthousiasme,  et  a  fournir 
une  egide  a  la  faiblesse." 

Again :  "  Ah,  lorsqu'on  pretend  a  conduire  les  hommes  il  faut 
prendre  la  peine  d'etudier  le  coeur  humain,  de  diriger  ses  penchants, 
d'eclairer  ses  determinations  ". 

2 "  On  a  trop  souvent  et  trop  follement  repete  que  c'e*tait  ici  la 
cause  des  Rois ;  ce  propos  d'antichambre  a  passe  de  la  bouche  des 
courtisans  dans  celle  des  anarchistes." 


that  it  was  a  conspiracy  against  the  rights  of  nations 
even  more  than  in  favour  of  the  rights  of  man,  and 
that  the  elements  of  reaction  and  resistance  to  internal 
tyranny,  which  were  surely  gaining  strength  in  France, 
could  not  be  conciliated  by  a  pedantic  adherence  to 
the  worn-out  formulae  of  despotic  royalism. 

Such  in  the  baldest  outline  were  some  of  the  points 
of  this  powerful  appeal  to  the  public  opinion  of  the 
Continent,  written  with  the  ' fer  rouge '  which,  as  its 
author  said,  was  necessary  to  excite  any  sensation.  A 
sensation  it  certainly  did  produce,  '  un  inconcevable 
vacarme '  as  he  described  it,  among  the  emigre  society 
to  whom  his  solemn,  perhaps  too  harsh,  warnings  had 
been  addressed,  and  whose  attacks  he  had  anticipated 
in  an  eloquent  vindication  of  his  right  to  speak  in  the 
interests  of  true  royalism  : — 

"  I  have  spoken  more  than  once  in  their  name,"  he 
had  written,  "  and  they  have  never  disavowed  me.  Al- 
though a  foreigner  and  a  republican  I  have  acquired 
the  rights  of  a  Royalist  at  the  price  of  four  years  spent 
without  any  reasonable  certainty  on  going  to  bed  that  I 
should  awake  to  liberty  or  to  life,  of  three  arrests  of  my 
person,  of  one  hundred  and  fifteen  denunciations,  of  the 
seal  twice  put  upon  my  papers,  of  four  '  civic  assaults ' 
on  my  house,  of  the  confiscation  of  all  my  property  in 
France.  Thus  have  I  acquired  the  rights  of  a  Royalist, 
and  since  nothing  remains  to  be  gained  by  that  title 
but  the  guillotine,  I  imagine  that  no  one  will  be 
tempted  to  dispute  it  with  me." 

"  La  cohue  des  emigre's,"  he  tells  his  wife,  "  pous- 
sait  des  cris  de  fureur.  Groupes  au  Pare,  comme 
les  Jacobins  au  Palais  Royal,  2  ou  300  e"cervele"s  en 
collet  ou  en  croix  ne  parlaient  que  de  me  pendre  apres 
la  contre-re"volution.  .  .  .  Cette  nouvelle  esclandre 
faillit  les  faire  chasser  tous.  Depuis  dix  jours  toutes 


les  societes  sont  aux  prises  sur  ma  miserable  brochure. 
Les  femmes  disputent  pour  ou  contre  avec  fureur.  .  .  . 
Montlosier  a  dt£  terrible  ;  sa  chaude  amiti^  1'a  porte  sur 
la  breche  en  toutes  armes." 

That  the  Princes,  who  had  not  been  taken  into 
confidence  on  the  publication,  shared  the  sentiments  of 
their  followers  was  shown  by  the  uneasy  inquiries  of 
Marshal  de  Castries  as  to  its  tendency,  and  by  Mallet's 
reply  in  which  he  defended  his  action  and  characterised 
in  strong  terms  the  "  transports  of  men  deranged  by 
adversity,  who  had  learnt  from  it  no  lessons,  no  ideas, 
no  notion  of  anything  ".  Attacks  and  disapproval,  how- 
ever, he  could  face  with  equanimity  in  view  of  the 
favourable  judgment  of  the  statesmen  and  representa- 
tives of  the  Powers.  The  Archduke  Charles  summoned 
him  to  his  court,  where  he  received  the  solemn  thanks 
of  Mercy  Argenteau  and  Metternich  on  behalf  of  their 
Governments ;  and  in  London  the  book  was  eagerly 
read,  Lord  Elgin  writing  that  he  had  had  many  con- 
versations with  Ministers  about  it  and  that  Burke,  in 
spite  of  his  reactionary  opinions,  had  rather  to  his  sur- 
prise spoken  of  it  with  enthusiasm  and  described  it  as 
the  best  thing  which  had  appeared  on  the  Revolution.1 

All  personal  preoccupations,  however,  were  soon 
swallowed  up  by  the  painful  interest  of  the  campaign 
which  had  opened  so  brilliantly  for  the  allies  in  the 
early  spring  by  the  victory  of  Neerwinden,  the  defec- 

aLord  Lansdowne  in  a  speech,  lyth  February  1794,  read  to  the 
House  of  Lords  several  passages  from  the  Considerations  with  the 
object  of  proving  that  in  the  opinion  even  of  sensible  aristocrats  force 
alone  could  never  deal  with  the  Revolution.  The  use  of  this  argu- 
ment, however,  as  one  in  favour  of  making  peace  was  not  at  all  in 
accordance  with  the  views  of  Mallet  du  Pan. 


tion  of  Dumouriez,  and  the  reconquest  of  Belgium  by 
the  Prince  of  Coburg,  but  which  was  to  close  in  gloom 
with  the  first  successes  of  Hoche  on  the  Rhine  and  of 
Bonaparte  at  Toulon.  "Everything  is  still  uncertain," 
wrote  Mallet  on  2Oth  August,  "it  is  impossible  to 
explain  the  conduct  of  the  Prince  of  Coburg  ...  a 
more  active  and  enterprising  leader  is  a  necessity." 
The  internal  condition  of  France  had  offered  a  real 
chance  of  success  to  the  allies.  The  decree  of  Frater- 
nisation (i5th  December  1792)  which  changed  the 
policy  of  France  from  one  of  mere  propaganda  to 
one  of  conquest,  the  execution  of  Louis  XVI.,  and  the 
organisation  of  a  mighty  engine  of  government  in  the 
committees  of  the  Convention,  had  indeed  given  in- 
calculable strength  to  the  revolutionary  movement  by 
destroying  all  probability  of  compromise.  But  for  many 
months  the  actual  as  apart  from  the  potential  strength 
of  France  was  non-existent,  the  armies  which  were  to 
overrun  Europe  were  in  embryo,  and  with  the  succes- 
sive disgrace,  recall  or  execution  of  Dumouriez,  Custine, 
Biron,  and  Beauharnais,  France  was  left  for  the  moment 
without  generals ;  while  civil  war  had  broken  out  in 
many  parts  of  the  country,  in  the  Gironde,  in  Lyons, 
and  in  Marseilles.  Both  from  Belgium  and  from  the 
Rhine  the  march  of  the  allied  armies  on  Paris  could, 
during  the  earlier  months  of  the  year,  have  met  with 
no  effective  resistance,  but  their  successes  were  confined 
to  the  siege  and  capture  of  Valenciennes  and  Mayence  ; 
all  opportunities  were  lost,  and  by  the  end  of  the  year 
the  tide  had  decisively  turned  in  favour  of  the  revolu- 
tionary forces.  From  the  beginning  of  the  war  Mallet 
du  Pan  had  pointed  out  that  two  courses  only  were 
possible,  either  to  penetrate  into  France  by  the  first 


breach,  as  Brunswick  had  tried  to  do  in  1792,  or  to 
pursue  a  temporising  policy  by  capturing  the  frontier 
fortresses,  which  was  Coburg's  plan  in  1 793.  Neither 
course  had  been  followed  with  intelligence  and  deter- 
mination, and  both  failed.  Coburg's  policy  could  only 
have  been  successful  had  it  been  accompanied  by 
measures  to  prevent  the  formation  of  organised  hostile 
forces  and  to  support  the  anti-revolutionary  revolts 
in  France.  The  suppression  by  the  Convention  of  the 
movements  in  Lyons,  in  the  Calvados,  in  Marseilles 
and  in  Bordeaux  were  events,  as  Mallet  pointed  out, 
more  disastrous  for  the  allies  than  would  have  been  the 
loss  of  Valenciennes,  Mayence  and  Belgium.  But  the 
military  and  political  faults  of  the  campaign  were,  after 
all,  merely  the  symptom  of  more  deep-seated  evil.  To 
the  sovereigns  and  ministers  of  Europe,  the  character 
of  the  Revolution,  the  condition  of  France,  even  the 
cause  of  the  French  monarchy,  were  all  considerations 
of  minor  importance  compared  with  the  separate  selfish 
interests  of  the  Powers  ;  and  the  great  coalition,  under- 
mined by  intrigue  and  jealousy,  was  even  then  tottering 
to  its  fall.  Its  success  had  depended  on  the  joint 
action  of  Austria  and  Prussia,  and  the  two  Powers 
were  already  hopelessly  estranged.  Their  alliance 
had  meant  checkmate  to  Russia ;  and  the  Empress 
Catherine,  by  attacking  Poland,  threw  down  the  apple 
of  discord  between  them  by  tempting  Prussia  to  claim 
her  share.  The  Treaty  of  St.  Petersburg  (23rd  Jan- 
uary), which  partitioned  Poland  between  Russia  and 
Prussia,  drove  Austria  into  antagonism,  and  thence- 
forward her  principal  efforts  under  Thugut,  who  be- 
came in  March  chief  of  the  Austrian  Foreign  Office 
and  to  whom,  as  the  Prussian  historian  has  said,  France 


owes  her  victory  in  the  revolutionary  war  and  Austria 
her  present  position  in  Europe,  were  directed  to- 
wards securing  compensation  for  herself  in  Alsace  and 
negotiating  the  exchange  of  Belgium  for  Bavaria. 
Renouncing  the  vigorous  prosecution  of  the  war  by 
the  aid  of  Prussia,  herself  intent  on  Polish  intrigue, 
Austria  turned  to  England,  and  sought  to  secure  her 
adhesion  to  the  Bavarian  exchange  by  supporting  the 
English  view  of  the  general  character  of  the  objects  of 
the  war,  that  of  resistance  to  French  encroachment 
without  interference  with  French  internal  affairs. 

Such  were  the  secret  plans  and  intrigues  of  the 
courts  during  Mallet's  stay  at  Brussels.  Towards  the 
end  of  August  he  addressed  a  second  note  to  Lords 
Grenville  and  Elgin,  which  the  latter  assured  him  had 
made  a  proper  impression  on  Mr.  Pitt  and  Lord 
Grenville,  pointing  out  that  the  failure  to  support  the 
counter-revolutionary  movement  in  France  would  cer- 
tainly result  in  the  consolidation  of  the  Government  of 
the  Convention.  Soon  afterwards  Mallet  du  Pan  left 
Brussels  and  rejoined  his  family  at  Berne,  where  he  had 
determined  to  settle  availing  himself  of  his  rights  as 
a  Combourgeois  de  Berne  of  residence  and  protection 
in  the  Canton. 

The  chief  work  of  Mallet  du  Pan's  remaining  years 
until  his  brief  return  to  journalism  at  the  close  of  his 
life  was  to  be  that  of  unofficial  adviser  or  "consulting 
physician "  to  the  various  Governments  at  war  with 
the  Revolution.  It  will  therefore  be  necessary  to  follow 
his  opinions  in  the  confidential  diplomatic  memoranda 
which  he  furnished  to  the  British  Cabinet  through 
Lord  Grenville,  Lord  Elgin,  and  Mr.  Wickham  ;  to 
Counts  Colleredo  and  Mercy  Argenteau,  to  the  Duke 


of  Brunswick  and  the  emigre  Princes  of  France,  to 
the  Kings  of  Sardinia,  Prussia  and  Spain  ;  and  finally 
in  a  regular  political  correspondence  which  he  was 
shortly  asked  to  undertake  for  the  Emperor  Francis 
as  well  as  for  the  Prussian  and  Portuguese  courts. 
It  was  not  a  form  of  public  activity  which  he  would 
naturally  have  chosen  for  himself,  for  his  experience 
as  a  negotiator  had  not  been  encouraging,  the  gift 
of  expression  which  made  him  a  power  with  the 
public  was  wasted  upon  officials,  and  he  was  wanting 
in  the  pliancy  and  suavity  which  are  perhaps  essen- 
tial in  diplomacy.  Both  from  the  point  of  view  of 
his  personal  interests  and  his  literary  reputation,  he 
would  probably  have  done  better  to  have  availed  him- 
self, failing  journalism,  of  some  opportunity  of  private 
employment  which  would  have  left  him  leisure  for 
studies  on  the  history  of  his  times.  But  though  letters 
and  journalism  were  his  chosen  vocation  he  was  essenti- 
ally a  man  of  action,  and  the  demand  for  assistance 
addressed  to  him  from  so  many  quarters  was,  for  a  man 
of  his  strongly  political  instincts,  too  imperious  to  be 

The  secret  history  of  the  period  teems  indeed  with 
intrigue,  and  many  were  the  agents  and  writers, 
worthy  and  unworthy,1  who  tendered  their  advice. 

*The  so-called  Comte  d'Entraigues  whose  notes  figure  in  the 
last  volume  of  the  Dropmore  Papers  was  one  of  the  "Jacobins 
d'aristocratie "  whose  violence  and  intrigues  were  most  harmful  to 
the  royal  cause.  Mallet,  in  a  note  for  Louis  XVIII.,  urged  on  one 
occasion  the  expulsion  of  the  "nue"e  d'emissaires,  de  ministres  ambu- 
lants,  de  cerveaux  timbres,  de  legats  qui  affluent  partout,  les  uns  avec 
des  brevets  de  S.M.,  les  autres  avec  les  patentes  de  M.  le  Prince  de 
Conde,  les  troisiemes  avec  des  commissions  britanniques,  se  croisant 
en  tous  les  sens,  racontant  leurs  missions  aux  tables  d'hote,  et  jetant 


Mallet  du  Pan  is  honourably  distinguished  from  most 
of  these  men  whom  he  described  as  '  ces  entrepreneurs 
de  centre-revolution  a  deux  cents  francs  par  mois\  It 
would  be  wrong  to  exaggerate  the  influence  of  a  simple 
publicist  in  matters  of  high  state  policy,  and  no  one 
was  more  conscious  than  he  of  the  absurdity  attaching 
to  any  such  pretension,  or  of  the  futility  of  his  own 
whole-hearted  efforts  to  enforce  a  true  view  of  the  situ- 
ation. "It  would  be  ridiculous,"  he  said,  "for  a  man  of 
sense  to  usurp  the  rdle  of  preceptor  to  Governments 
without  being  called  upon  to  do  so."  But  the  fact 
remains  that  though  his  advice  was  not,  perhaps  could 
not,  be  followed  it  was  eagerly  sought,  that  his  opinions 
recommended  themselves  to  many  of  those  best  qualified 
at  the  time  to  judge  of  the  situation  to  be  confronted, 
and  that  they  are  now  recognised  as  statesmanlike  by 
the  best  students  and  historians  of  the  epoch.  He  stood 
out  among  the  secret  agents  of  the  time  as  a  man  who 
had  taken  an  open,  courageous  and  consistent  line  on 
the  questions  at  issue,  and  his  devoted  efforts  on  behalf 
of  Louis  XVI.  and  that  King's  well-known  sympathy 
with  and  confidence  in  his  opinions — the  Comte  d' Artois 
on  one  occasion  himself  recalling  '  combien  il  etait 
opinione  par  mon  vertueux  Frere  ' — gave  him  authority 
with  all  sections  of  royalists.  His  visit  to  Brussels 
had  made  him  acquainted  with  and  trusted  by  many 
of  the  most  influential  statesmen  of  the  coalition,  and 
his  pamphlet  on  the  Revolution  had  for  the  first  time 
given  him  a  European  celebrity.  Above  all,  he  hap- 
pened to  be  a  man  of  the  character  and  intelligence 

sur  la  cause  royale  une  defaveur,  une  confusion,  un  mepris  qui  ecartent 
absolument  toutes  les  personnes  raisonnables  ".  The  British  Foreign 
Office  naturally  fell  an  easy  prey  to  such  adventurers. 


which  always  carry  weight,  and  especially  in  times  of 
stress  and  crisis.  But  explain  it  as  we  may,  it  is  a 
remarkable  circumstance,  and  one  probably  without 
exact  parallel,  that  a  private  person,  a  political  writer 
belonging  to  a  small  neutral  State  and  destitute  of  any 
powerful  political  connection,  should  have  been  enabled 
and  encouraged  to  assume  the  position  described. 

No  sooner  was  Mallet  du  Pan  settled  in  his  new 
home  than  he  furnished  at  Lord  Elgin's  request  two 
more  lengthy  reports,  dated  respectively  in  November 
1793  and  February  I794,1  on  the  condition  of  France 
and  the  policy  of  the  allies.  In  the  first  of  these  papers 
he  traces  the  character  and  successive  developments 
of  the  Revolution,  he  points  out  how  the  war  itself  had 
created  in  France  (as  he  had  in  1791  prophesied  it 
would)  a  Government  of  such  a  nature  that  any  idea  of 
coming  to  terms  with  it  was  chimerical,  and  he  dis- 
cusses, in  the  spirit  which  now  became  habitual  with  him 
of  resolute  opposition  to  the  timidity  of  half  measures 
and  compromises,  the  means  by  which  alone  it  could 
be  combated  by  the  Powers.  It  is  scarcely  fanciful  to 
trace,  in  the  language  used  by  Pitt  and  Grenville  in 
defending  the  policy  of  the  war  against  the  eloquence  of 
Sheridan,  Fox  and  Lansdowne,  during  the  memorable 
debates  of  the  session  of  1794,  the  arguments  of  this 
powerful  memorandum. 

The  second  paper,  written  at  the  moment  of 
Robespierre's  supremacy,  is  one  of  the  most  remark- 

1  These  memoranda  are  printed  almost  in  extenso  by  Sayous, 
and  they  have  been  brought  to  the  notice  of  English  readers  in  Mr. 
Oscar  Browning's  publication  of  Lord  Gower's  despatches  (without  an 
attribution  to  Mallet  du  Pan)  and  more  recently  in  the  third  volume 
of  the  Dropmore  Papers. 


able  historical  fragments  penned  by  Mallet  du  Pan.  It 
is  true,  unfortunately  for  posterity,  that  he  was  not 
a  personal  witness  of  the  Reign  of  Terror,  that  the 
"  physician  was  not  at  his  patient's  side,"  nor  had  he  as 
yet  organised  the  machinery  for  supplying  himself  with 
information  which  served  him  so  well  in  his  accounts  of 
the  Directory  ;  but  he  declares  his  complete  confidence 
in  the  accuracy  of  the  communications  upon  which  he 
relied,  and  to  procure  which  he  was  authorised  to  spare 
no  expense.  The  result  is  a  piece  of  description  such 
as  a  Foreign  Office  seldom  has  the  pleasure  to  receive, 
and  which  can  have  left  no  excuse  on  the  score  of 
ignorance  or  illusion  in  the  minds  of  the  ministers  who 
read  it.  Beginning  with  the  machinery  of  the  new 
Government,  he  shows  how  everything  centred  in  the 
Committee  of  Public  Safety  which,  with  its  thousands  of 
agents  and  its  system  of  denunciation,  disposed  despot- 
ically both  of  the  armies  and  of  the  lives  and  property 
of  the  citizens  ;  which  had  reduced  the  Ministers  to  the 
position  of  its  clerks,  and  the  Convention  to  sanctioning 
its  decisions  as  a  '  machine  a  dkcrets '.  "  Thanks  to  their 
knowledge  of  the  human  heart "  these  new  tyrants  had 
assumed  the  whole  apparatus  of  despotism,  carriages 
with  six  horses,  body  guards,  sumptuous  tables,  actors 
and  courtesans.  Not  satisfied  with  dazzling,  they  had 
struck  terror  into  the  people.  No  one  save  themselves 
might  write  or  speak.  There  were  18,000  suspects  in 
the  prisons  of  Paris.  The  whole  people  was  disarmed. 
In  a  masterly  account  of  the  finances,  Mallet  shows  the 
immense  resources  which  the  committee  had  created  for 
themselves,  not  only  by  the  suppression  of  many  great 
sources  of  ordinary  expenditure,  but  also  by  the  quadru- 
pling of  extraordinary  revenues  by  means  of  the  assignats 


and  the  forced  loan  of  one  milliard,  by  the  sale  of  the 
national  domains  many  times  repeated,  by  the  maximum 
law,  and  by  requisitions permanentes  such  as  the  confisca- 
tion of  the  treasures  of  the  churches,  of  gold  and  silver 
belonging  to  individuals,  of  the  furniture  of  emigres,  of  the 
spoils  of  revolted  towns,  and  of  the  property  of  the  four 
hundred  persons  guillotined  every  week,  who  were  chosen 
as  far  as  possible  from  among  the  wealthy  or  among  those 
even  of  their  own  employees  who  had  been  allowed  to 
enrich  themselves.  The  Republic  was  in  fact  richer 
than  all  the  sovereigns  of  the  coalition  put  together. 
No  less  masterly  is  the  analysis  of  the  military  forces 
of  France  and  of  the  means  by  which  fanatical  hatred 
against  the  enemies  of  the  Republic  was  stimulated  by 
the  dictators.  No  reliance  could  be  placed  on  the 
supposed  discontent  of  the  army,  nor  on  the  fable  that 
famine  would  bring  the  country  to  its  knees.  The 
Jacobins  were  openly  advocating  massacres  to  diminish 
the  consumption  of  their  nicely  calculated  supplies  of 
food,  and  sooner  than  yield  they  would  butcher  their 
prisoners,  their  women  and  their  old  men,  as  useless 
mouths.  Neither  was  there  any  hope  of  a  re-awakening 
of  public  feeling  in  spite  of  the  general  detestation 
of  the  Convention,  the  Jacobins  and  the  Committees. 
The  great  mass  had  no  will  of  their  own ;  "  they  are 
like  the  negro  who  strangles  himself  with  his  tongue 
sooner  than  complain  ".  The  Jacobin  conquest  was 
in  fact  the  triumph  of  a  minority.  It  has  been 
attempted  to  estimate  the  numerical  strength  of  the 
revolutionary  mob  in  Paris,  and  the  highest  calcula- 
tions have  put  it  at  16,000  out  of  a  population  of 
600,000  souls.  Certain  it  is  that  at  the  election  of 
Bailly's  successor  as  Mayor  of  Paris,  the  Jacobin  vote 



of  6,600  out  of  a  total  of  80,000  voters  was  sufficient 
to  carry  the  day,  and  subsequent  municipal  elections 
gave  like  results.  The  composition  of  the  rank  and 
file  was  even  more  insignificant  than  their  numerical 
strength,  and  the  analyses  of  the  police  have  shown 
that  the  number  of  the  enrages  was  swelled  by  domestic 
servants,  the  lowest  class  of  workmen,  and  the  residuum 
of  the  population ;  beggars  living  from  hand  to  mouth, 
and  adventurers  from  all  parts  of  France  and  Europe. 
The  abolition  of  the  property  qualification  on  the  loth 
of  August  1792  gave  them  complete  mastery  of  the 
forty-eight  sections  of  Paris,  the  assemblies  which  were 
the  chief  means  of  carrying  out  the  orders  issued  by 
the  clubs  and  committees  of  the  Jacobin  leaders. 
These  assemblies  were  attended  by  the  bravos  of 
every  quarter,  the  meetings  were  held  at  night  to 
keep  away  respectable  citizens,  and  those  who  attended 
were  treated  with  personal  violence,  the  Jacobins  in 
default  of  other  arms  breaking  up  the  furniture  and 
carrying  their  resolutions  by  force.  The  indifference 
of  the  middle  classes,  intensely  conservative  as  they 
have  always  been,  was  even  exceeded  by  their  timidity. 
With  the  Reign  of  Terror  the  craven  majority  had 
sunk  into  a  still  deeper  apathy  :— - 

"The  patience,"  wrote  Mallet  du  Pan  a  year  later,1 
"with  which  the  French  have  for  fifteen  months  toler- 
ated a  system  of  imprisonment  en  masse  and  the  judicial 
assassination  of  hundreds  by  wholesale,  convicts  the 
nation  of  a  moral  turpitude  which  renders  them  fit 
subjects  for  any  kind  of  oppression.  In  all  that  long 
period  of  murder  not  a  son  dared  to  avenge  the 
execution  of  his  father,  not  a  husband  ventured  to 

1On  2Qth  April  1795,  Correspondence  for  Vienna,  i.,  188. 


defend  his  wife,  not  a  father  to  rescue  his  child,  in  a 
country  where  swords  would  once  have  leapt  from  their 
scabbards  for  the  sake  of  a  mistress  or  an  epigram." 

The  most  vivid  pages  of  the  report  to  Lord  Elgin 
are  those  which  describe  with  all  the  power  inspired 
by  the  writer's  inborn  loathing  for  iniquity  the  eleven 
members  (one  place  was  vacant)  of  the  Committee  of 
Public  Safety.  The  worst  of  them  was  the  ex-actor 
Collot  d'Herbois,  the  image  of  an  oriental  tyrant  with 
all  the  qualities  of  the  Tiberius  of  Tacitus.  The 
monster  who  had  massacred  four  thousand  citizens  in 
five  weeks  is  painted  with  his  impassive  ferocity,  his 
profound  dissimulation,  his  theatrical  declamations,  his 
ambition,  his  cupidity,  his  jealousy,  in  terms  which 
make  the  reader  shudder.  His  was  the  atrocious 
utterance  when  ordering  to  instant  execution  a  young 
man  just  proved  innocent  of  the  offence  with  which 
he  was  charged  :  "  If  we  spare  the  innocent  too  many 
guilty  ones  will  escape  ".  The  estimate  of  Robespierre, 
however,  the  scape-goat  of  the  Revolution  as  Bonaparte 
called  him,  is  perhaps  of  more  general  interest : — 

"He  has  never  been  and  will  never  be  capable  of 
sustaining  the  stupendous  part  he  has  undertaken  ;  som- 
bre, suspicious,  distrusting  his  best  friends,  fanatical, 
vindictive  and  implacable,  his  life  is  the  image  of  that 
of  Pygmalion,  King  of  Tyre,  such  as  Fdnelon  depicted 
him.  To-day  he  is  haggard,  with  hollow  eyes  and  livid 
face,  with  restless  and  savage  looks,  and  a  countenance 
bearing  the  impress  of  crime  and  remorse.  Tormented 
with  terror  he  is  always  escorted  by  three  chosen  sans- 
culottes armed  to  the  teeth  who  accompany  him  in  his 
carriage ;  returning  to  his  beggarly  abode  he  shuts 
himself  and  barricades  himself  within  it,  and  opens  the 
door  only  with  the  most  extreme  precautions.  If  he 


dines  out  it  is  never  without  laying  his  two  pistols 
on  the  table  one  on  each  side  of  his  plate,  no  servant 
may  stand  behind  his  chair,  he  partakes  of  no  dish 
without  one  of  the  guests  having  eaten  of  it  before  him, 
he  casts  troubled  and  suspicious  glances  on  all  around 
him.  .  .  .  The  simplicity  of  his  tastes,  his  abstinence, 
his  distaste  for  pleasure,  and  the  well-founded  opinion 
of  his  disinterestedness,  have  made  and  maintain  his 
popular  favour.  He  has  not  an  kcu,  and  his  incorrupti- 
bility is  in  striking  contrast  with  the  rapacity  of  his 
colleagues.  Living  on  his  salary  as  a  deputy  he  saves 
from  his  domestic  expenditure  in  order  to  maintain  a 
shabby  carriage  which  he  thinks  necessary  for  his 
safety,  and  which  in  order  to  avoid  the  appearance  of 
luxury  he  has  had  numbered  like  a  public  conveyance." 

As  for  the  accusation  ot  aspiring  to  a  dictatorship, 
Robespierre  aspired  to  remaining  master  less  from 
ambition  than  from  fear.  "  Fear  is  the  foundation 
and  mainspring  of  his  character."  His  power  was 
in  the  tyranny  of  the  Committee  which,  with  its  un- 
limited power  over  their  lives  and  fortunes,  froze  with 
terror  the  hearts  of  the  citizens.  Robespierre,  too,  could 
answer  a  mother  pleading  for  the  life  of  her  son  after 
listening  to  her  with  face  of  iron :  "  Citoyenne,  I  have 
the  power  to  punish,  but  I  know  not  how  to  pardon  ". 
But  he  was  hardly  the  "tiger  drunk  with  blood,"  the 
monster  beyond  the  pale  of  humanity,  so  often  described ; 
his  cruelty  sprang  from  the  desire  of  domination,  and 
that  desire  from  the  knowledge  that  his  fall  meant 
death.  It  was  indeed  to  preserve  their  lives,  and  as 
a  secondary  motive  to  preserve  their  empire,  that 
Robespierre  and  his  committee  grasped  at  omnipo- 
tence. One  day  in  the  autumn  of  1793  Danton  and 
Robespierre  were  consulted  by  a  woman  of  their 


acquaintance  on  a  plan  she  had  formed  for  leaving 
the  country.  "  Fly  at  once,"  they  told  her,  "we  would 
we  could  follow  you.  It  will  not  be  long  before  we 
are  butchering  one  another  and  France  will  be  a 
torrent  of  blood."1  The  allies  were  warned  that  they 
must  not  count  on  the  weakness  of  these  terrible  foes. 
Warring  indeed  among  themselves  they  were  united 

1  The  following  is  an  account  from  the  private  note-book  of  the 
execution  of  Marie  Antoinette ;  according  to  Mallet  du  Pan's  informa- 
tion, repeated  also  in  another  place,  she  was  already  dead  before  the 
guillotine  fell.  After  describing  the  preparations  he  writes  :  "Cette 
infortunee  Princesse  soutint  cet  horrible  appareil  et  la  traversee  im- 
mense avec  serenite,  regardant  la  foule  avec  indifference.  Mais 
arrivee  au  bout  de  la  Rue  Royale,  lorsqu'elle  apercut  la  Place  de 
la  Revolution,  la  foule,  1'echaffaud ;  le  souvenir  de  son  mariage  ou 
celui  de  la  mort  du  Roi  1'a  opprime  (?)  de  saisissement.  L'opinion 
generate  est  qu'elle  expira.  Arrivee  a  la  guillotine,  les  bourreaux  furent 
obliges  de  la  prendre  et  de  la  porter  sur  le  bane,  elle  n'avait  plus 
de  sentiment.  L'un  des  bourreaux  dit  meme  a  quelques  scelerats  qui 
lui  reprochaient  de  la  porter :  Eh  ne  voyez-vous  pas  qu'elle  a  deja 
passe  ?  "  Those  who  remember  David's  terrible  and  moving  sketch  of 
the  Queen  seated  in  the  tumbril  will  have  no  difficulty  in  believing 
this  story. 

"  Personne  n'est  mort,"  he  writes,  "avec  plus  de  fermete,  de 
grandeur  d'ame,  de  fierte  que  le  due  d'Orleans ;  il  redevint  prince 
du  sang.  Lorsqu'on  lui  demanda,  au  tribunal  revolutionnaire,  s'il 
n'avait  rien  a  dire  pour  sa  defense,  il  repondit :  '  Mourir  aujourd'hui 
plutot  que  demain,  deliberez  la-dessus.'  Cela  fut  accorde.  .  .  ." 

The  following  story  illustrates  the  gaiety  with  which  some  met 
their  fate.  The  Chevalier  du  Barry,  led  out  to  the  guillotine,  remarked 
to  his  fellow  victims  with  a  laugh,  "  Le  bourreau  sera  bien  attrape 
lorsqu'il  viendra  me  prendre  par  les  cheveux,  car  mon  toupet  lui 
restera  a  la  main  !  .  .  .  Jamais  Biron  ne  fut  plus  beau  que  sur  la 
charrette.  ..."  Custine  on  the  other  hand  "  se  defendit  avec  talent 
et  mourut  en  enfant,"  while  Herault  de  Sechelles,  sure  that  he  would 
not  escape,  went  every  day  for  six  weeks  to  witness  the  executions  in 
order  to  familiarise  himself  with  the  idea  ! 


by  the  most  powerful  of  all  motives,  fear  of  their 
enemies  within  and  without.  Their  lives  depended 
on  their  supremacy,  and  this  again  depended  on  their 
success  in  prosecuting  the  war,  in  keeping  the  generals 
and  their  troops  at  a  distance  from  the  scene  of  the 
struggle  of  factions,  and  in  supporting  them  by  the 
devastation  of  adjoining  countries. 

Mallet  du  Pan's  description  of  the  internal  condition 
of  France  was  doubtless  accepted  as  authentic.  But 
his  counsels  as  to  combating  the  designs  of  the  Con- 
vention fell  upon  deaf  ears.  He  had  repeated  them, 
as  he  said,  till  they  had  become  commonplaces,  and  if 
the  lessons  of  history  and  of  recent  experience  had 
taught  nothing  to  the  generals  and  ministers  of  the 
coalition,  the  phrases  of  an  obscure  adviser  could  not 
be  expected  to  influence  them.  When  he  appealed 
for  a  common  sentiment  of  passionate  resistance  to  an 
anti-national  and  anti -social  propaganda  as  the  only 
force  which  could  meet  and  overthrow  it,  he  showed 
indeed  true  insight  into  the  problem.  But  he  was 
appealing  to  a  sentiment  which  was  not  called  into 
existence  on  the  Continent  till  fifteen  years  of  humilia- 
tion and  disaster  had  passed  over  Europe.  When  he 
pointed  out  that  the  despotism  of  the  Committee,  while 
it  supplied  for  the  moment  an  unnatural  strength  to 
the  French  onslaught,  yet  carried  within  it  the  seed 
of  dissolution  ;  when  he  showed  how  the  active  inter- 
vention of  the  immense  number  of  French  exiles  of  all 
classes  which  had  been  a  grave  mistake  in  1792  might 
now,  if  properly  directed,  rally  the  bulk  of  the  nation 
against  the  Jacobin  rule  and  how  fatal  was  the  neglect 
to  support  the  revolts  in  La  Vendee  and  the  great  cities 
of  the  South,  he  was  only  insisting  on  the  essential 


facts  of  the  situation.  But  he  was  assuming  what  was 
far  from  being  the  case,  that  the  interest  and  desire 
of  the  allied  statesmen  were  to  terminate  the  Revolution 
by  the  re-establishment  of  order  in  France.  The  same 
remark  is  true  of  his  repeated  advice  to  the  Powers, 
and  their  studied  neglect  of  it,  to  renounce  their  terms 
of  absolutism  and  their  exclusive  patronage  of  the 
Princes  and  rebels,  to  abandon  their  talk  of  the  ancien 
regime,  of  the  orders,  of  systems  of  government, 
and  to  dwell  instead  on  the  interests  and  misfortunes 
of  the  French  nation  as  a  whole.  It  was  fruitless  to 
preach  concerted  military  measures  to  Powers,  each 
bent,  so  far  as  they  were  seriously  bent  on  the  war 
at  all,  on  securing  territorial  compensation  for  itself 
rather  than  on  combating  the  Revolution.1  But  the 
truth  was  that  by  this  time  their  increasing  preoccupa- 
tion with  Eastern  affairs,  the  designs  of  Catherine  on 
Constantinople,  the  revolt  in  Poland  and  the  impending 
fresh  partition  of  that  country,  and  the  consequent 
estrangement  between  Prussia  and  Austria,  had  taken 
all  heart  out  of  the  war  with  France  ;  and  that  England 
alone,  when  other  Powers  were  longing  for  the  end, 
England  which  had  entered  with  reluctance  on  the  war, 
was  at  last  beginning  to  realise  its  true  character.  But 
England  had  no  resources  with  which  to  conduct  a 
continental  campaign  ;  she  could  act  only  by  means 
of  exhortations  and  subsidies,  and  events  moved  too 
quickly  for  her  parliamentary  and  diplomatic  methods. 
For  France  had  at  last  found  leaders  in  war  with 

1 "  Quant  a  moi,  milord,  je  n'h6site  pas  a  vous  avouer  que  dans 
cette  position  oil  vous  combattriez  la  France  et  subsidiairement  la 
Revolution  vous  manqueriez  la  Revolution  et  la  France."  (To  Lord 


Carnot  at  headquarters  and  Pichegru,  Jourdan  and 
Moreau  at  the  front,  and  1794  was  to  repeat  on  a 
greater  scale  the  disasters  of  1 793.  The  close  of  this 
year,  which  witnessed  the  fall  of  Robespierre  and  of 
the  Committee  of  Public  Safety  (Thermidor  9,  1794), 
left  France  satiated  with  and  exhausted  by  triumphs 
greater  than  any  which  had  crowned  her  arms  under 
the  old  monarchy,  and  Europe  in  a  situation  which 
justified  the  darkest  apprehensions  for  her  future. 

Not  only  were  the  French  delivered  from  all  danger 
of  foreign  invasion,  but  Holland  and  Belgium  had 
fallen  into  the  hands  of  France  ;  Sweden,  Tuscany, 
and  Sardinia  had  already  treated  with  the  Republic  ; 
Spain  and  Prussia  were  about  to  be  added  to  the  list 
of  neutral  Powers,  and  the  most  important  German 
State,  after  Austria,  had  already  betrayed  the  Empire 
and  agreed  to  the  cession  of  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine 
at  the  general  peace.  The  whole  course  of  the  French 
war  up  to  the  final  partition  of  Poland  in  1795  was 
governed  by  the  vicissitudes  of  intrigue  in  the  East, 
and  the  result  was  to  leave  the  field  clear  for  the 
machinations  of  the  only  great  potentates  of  Europe, 
Catherine  of  Russia  and  the  Jacobin  Government  of 
France.  Well  might  Burke  exclaim,  in  criticising  the 
selfish  policy  of  the  allies,  that  there  could  be  no  honour 
in  a  society  for  pillage ! 





IT  was  at  this  moment1  that  Mallet  du  Pan,  addressing 
the  Emperor  Francis  in  words  which  read  almost  like 
a  satire  on  the  motives  of  German  statesmanship,  as 
the  "pillar  of  social  order,  the  most  solid  support  at 
this  crisis  of  religion,  of  civil  authority  and  of  the 
common  weal,"  sought  to  oppose  the  conclusion  of  a 
premature  and  dangerous  peace  by  pointing  out  that 
the  recognition  of  the  Republic  would  reanimate  the 
waning  authority  of  the  Jacobins  in  France,  that  it 
would  morally  dethrone  the  governments  of  the  coali- 
tion, and  be  a  patent  of  insurrection  to  the  peoples. 
The  words  just  quoted  are  taken  from  the  open- 
ing sentences  of  a  regular  political  correspondence2 

1  28th  December  1794. 

2  Correspondance  in'edite  de  Mallet  du  Pan  avec  la  cour  de  Vienne 
(1794-98),  publiee  d'aprh  les  Manuscrits  conserves  aux  Archives  de 

Vienne,  par  Andre  Michel ;  avec  une  PreTace  de  M.  Taine,  in 
2  vols.,  Paris,  1884.  This  correspondence  consists  of  136  letters, 
addressed  week  by  week  directly  to  the  Emperor  Francis  from 
28th  December  1794  to  26th  February  1798.  It  was  paid  for  and 
was,  writes  Mallet  du  Pan's  son,  with  the  similar  series  of  letters  for 
the  Portuguese  minister  at  Turin  and  the  court  of  Berlin,  "  our  sole 


which  Mallet  du  Pan  had  been  requested  to  undertake 
for  the  court  of  Vienna,  and  which  formed  during 
the  ensuing  four  years  his  principal  occupation.  At 
the  same  time  Baron  Hardenberg l  and  M.  de  Souza 
Cotinho2  applied  on  behalf  of  their  sovereigns,  the 

dependence ;  yet  to  my  father's  honour,  be  it  said,  it  is  distinguished 
throughout  by  that  fearlessness  of  opinion  and  manly  tone  which 
characterises  his  public  writings." 

1 "  On  the  occasion  of  the  peace  concluded  at  Bale  between 
France  and  Prussia,  in  1791,  he  felt  much  offended  with  Baron 
Hardenberg,  who  had  expressed  a  uniform  acquiescence  in  his 
opinions,  and  yet  concluded  the  treaty  of  Bale  without  the  least 
intimation  to  my  father  of  any  change  in  his  own  views  and  policy. 
My  father  wrote  him  a  dignified  letter,  breaking  off  their  corre- 
spondence, which  was,  however,  subsequently  renewed  at  the  earnest 
and  pressing  solicitation  of  the  minister  himself,  and  their  mutual 
friend,  General  Heymann "  (Reminiscences).  This  correspondence 
exists  in  the  archives  of  Berlin,  but  has  never  been  published. 

2 "  Don  Roderigo  de  Souza  Cotinho  Count  of  Linhares,  the 
Maecenas  of  botany  and  indeed  of  general  science  at  this  period, 
was  the  Portuguese  minister  at  Turin.  At  his  table  was  a  weekly 
assembly  of  literary  men,  in  whose  conversation  and  pursuits  he  bore 
a  very  intelligent  part,  always  making  himself  completely  one  of  the 
company  by  his  knowledge  and  enthusiasm  no  less  than  by  his 
enlivening  affability.  Mr.  T.  H.  Jackson,  son  of  the  musical 
composer,  who  was  then  our  charge  d'affaires  at  Turin,  and  a  clever 
man  himself,  says  in  a  letter  to  his  father,  of  2ist  March,  1787,  in 
speaking  of  M.  de  Souza,  '  besides  being  a  man  of  the  first  rank  in  his 
own  country,  he  is  one  of  the  best  informed  and  most  learned  men  I 
ever  met  anywhere '  "  (Reminiscences).  This  correspondence  remains 
in  the  Lisbon  archives.  M.  Fran9ois  Descostes  recently  discovered 
in  the  Chateau  de  Sales  near  Anne"cy,  the  seat  of  the  descendants  of 
the  Marquis  de  Sales  Mallet  du  Pan's  friend  and  correspondent, 
copies  of  the  earlier  portion  of  it  which  was  addressed  to  Turin  (from 
December  1796  it  was  addressed  to  Souza  Cotinho  at  Lisbon) ; 
and  published  the  letters  in  an  interesting  but  somewhat  discursive 
volume  entitled  La  Revolution  Franfaise  vue  de  fetranger  (Tours  :  A. 


Kings  of  Prussia  and  Portugal,  for  a  similar  corre- 
spondence. He  gladly  embraced  these  offers.  His 
previous  experience  had  well  fitted  him  for  the  post 
of  "minister  in  partibus"  to  the  threatened  Mon- 
archies. He  had  already,  as  we  have  seen,  been  much 
consulted  by  the  leading  ministers  of  the  allied  Powers. 
His  means  of  information  had  always  been  exception- 
ally great.  The  organisation  of  the  "Intelligence 
Department,"  which,  as  we  have  seen,  he  had  formed 
in  France  during  his  editorship  of  the  Mercure,  he 
had  kept  up  on  leaving  France  in  1792  ;  he  was  now 
able  to  extend  it  by  funds  specially  provided  for  the 
purpose,  and  internal  evidence  reveals  the  nature  of 
his  sources  of  information.1  Letters  of  the  Baron  de 
Stael,  of  Barthelemy,  of  other  influential  personages 
(the  chief  of  the  staff  of  Hoche,  for  instance),  are  put 
into  his  hands ;  he  sends  to  Lyons  a  trustworthy 
person  to  verify  his  information  upon  the  state  of  the 
town  ;  he  receives  textual  accounts  of  the  secret 
deliberations  of  Sieves,  Tallien  and  Barras ;  his 
correspondents  are  drawn  from  the  committees  of  the 
Convention  and  the  councils  of  the  Directory,  from  the 
public  offices,  from  the  general  staffs  of  armies  of  the 
Republic  and  of  the  Vendean  rebels.  His  statements 
as  to  the  condition  of  Paris  were  verified  in  many  cases 
by  M.  Taine's  researches  into  the  documentary  sources 
of  the  history,  which  led  that  writer  to  express  the 

Mame  et  fils,  1897),  with  a  most  appreciative  introductory  notice  of 
Mallet  du  Pan.  This  correspondence,  being  addressed  to  a  minister 
and  not  directly  to  a  sovereign,  is  distinguished  by  even  greater 
vivacity  and  freedom  of  expression  than  the  Vienna  correspondence. 

1  M.  Michel  in  his  excellent  Introduction  to  the  Vienna  Corre- 
spondence has  fully  described  these  sources  of  information. 


strongest  opinion  as  to  the  general  accuracy  and  fidelity 
of  the  information  upon  which  Mallet  du  Pan  relied. 

The  work  is  therefore  of  peculiar  importance, 
not  only  as  a  record  of  Mallet  du  Pan's  opinions  and 
political  action,  but  for  the  history  of  the  time, 
addressed  as  it  is  to  the  sovereign  of  the  only  Con- 
tinental State  still  at  war  with  the  Republic. 

Mallet  du  Pan's  warnings  against  the  conclusion  of 
peace  at  this  moment  were  founded  not  indeed  on  the 
utility  of  foreign  intervention  as  hitherto  conducted,  but 
on  his  knowledge  of  the  internal  condition  of  France 
to  the  study  of  which  he  set  himself  with  renewed 
energy,  and  upon  the  proper  handling  of  which  every- 
thing in  his  opinion  now  depended.  For  the  reaction 
of  Thermidor  had  given  rise  to  the  one  really  popular 
movement  of  the  later  Revolution.  The  organisation 
of  the  body  known  to  history,  though  not  to  contem- 
porary politics,  as  the  Jeunesse  Doree,  had  served  as 
a  rallying  point  for  the  rising  royalist  feeling.  Re- 
cruited from  the  middle  classes,  they  were  composed 
of  students  and  lawyers'  clerks,  of  the  sons  of  bankers, 
officials  and  shopkeepers.  With  hats,  cravats  and 
knee  -  breeches  to  distinguish  them  from  the  sans- 
culottes, or  trousered,  Jacobins,  with  hair  arranged  in 
pigtail  or  dressed  d  la  victime  jagged  and  short  behind 
and  long  at  the  sides,  and  armed  with  large  knobbed 
sticks,  they  assembled  in  the  cafes  of  the  Palais 
Royal,  organised  a  regular  opposition  to  the  Jacobins, 
attacked  their  clubs,  hunted  down  the  buveurs  de  sang, 
destroyed  the  busts  of  Marat,  and  attended  the  theatre 
to  sing  the  ' Reveil  du  Peuple?  to  hiss  the  '•Mar- 
seillaise? or  cheer  ironically  at  the  refrain,  '  Tremblez, 
tyrants  et  vous  perfides  \  That  but  a  small  minority 


were  the  weak  dandies  portrayed  by  Thiers,  whose 
eccentricity  earned  for  them  from  their  enemies  the 
names  of  '  Incroyables,'  '  Elegants,'  and  '  Muscadins,' 
is  proved  by  the  heroic  resistance  they  offered  to  the 
efforts  of  the  rump  of  the  Convention  to  perpetuate 
its  power  by  the  decrees  of  the  22nd  of  August  1795. 
They  at  all  events  represented  a  serious  but  unor- 
ganised body  of  opinion  in  the  country,  which  was  also 
beginning  to  find  voice  in  the  press.  "  The  freedom 
of  the  press,"  Mallet  wrote,1  "  produced  the  Revolution; 
the  freedom  of  the  press  will  destroy  it  by  revolting, 
as  it  is  doing  every  day,  against  its  own  work."  He 
records  the  first  signs  of  reaction  in  the  Conven- 
tion itself,  the  petitions  demanding  the  restoration  of 
public  worship  and  the  abolition  of  the  Republican 
calendar ;  but  much  remained  to  be  done.  A  third 
of  France,  he  said,  in  the  early  months  of  1795  was 
perhaps  in  favour  of  a  monarchy,  but  the  Royalists 
proper  had  not  recovered  from  the  terror  which  had 
plunged  the  whole  kingdom  into  lethargy.2  Those 
who  adhered  to  the  constitution  of  1791  were  as 
helpless  and  leaderless  as  the  aristocrats.  All  had 
become  accustomed  to  look  upon  the  return  of  a  king 
as  a  mere  castle  in  Spain,  and  it  was  but  a  step  from 
this  sentiment  to  an  inclination  for  the  first  order  of 
things  which  promised  security  and  peace.  It  was  a 
condition,  he  pointed  out  to  his  royalist  friends,  almost 
equally  favourable  to  the  permanent  establishment  of  a 
republic  or  to  a  restoration  of  the  monarchy.3  Nor  did 

1  Correspondence  for  Vienna,  letter  of  i6th  August  1795. 
*  Ibid.,  letters  of  8th  and  i8th  February  1795. 
3  The  people,  he  wrote,  are  as  far  as  ever  from  rising  to  re- 
establish the  Monarchy.     "C'est  un  animal  pareil  a   ces  femmes 


he  fail  to  draw  attention  to  the  character  of  the  men 
who  still  ruled  the  destinies  of  the  country.  Sieves, 
for  instance,  who  had  "lived"  through  the  Terror, 
emerged  in  May  1795  as  president  of  the  Convention, 
and  he  alone,  by  reason  of  his  "  intrigues,  his  meta- 
physical babble,  his  personal  fears  of  the  restoration  of 
a  king,  his  philosophic  vanity  and  ambition,  was  a 
sufficient  make-weight  against  the  inclination  of  the 
majority  of  his  colleagues  to  abandon  all  idea  of  a 
republic  ".  With  him  were  the  authors  of  the  Coup 
d'etat  of  Thermidor,  Jacobins  without  principle  or 
convictions  whether  republican  or  monarchical,  '  hommes 
perdusj  FreYon,  Legendre,  Ch&iier  1'aine,  Merlin  de 
Thionville,  Lecointre,  Barras,  Bourdon  de  1'Oise,  and 
head  of  the  band,  the  infamous  Tallien.  Once  recovered 
from  their  surprise  at  the  violence  of  the  reaction  of 

publiques  qui  s'attachent  d'autant  plus  a  leur  amant  qu'elles  en 
resolvent  plus  de  coups,  parce  qu'en  ^change  de  ses  maux  il  jouit 
d'une  liberte  de  dereglement  qui  lui  tient  lieu  du  reste.  A  defaut 
de  pain  la  populace  vit  de  vieux  harengs,  d'ceufs  durcis,  de  salade 
au  mauvais  beurre,  ce  qui  avec  deux  onces  de  pain  et  autant 
de  riz  qu'on  distribue  journellement,  I'empeche  de  mourir  de  faim. 
Les  spectacles,  les  cabarets,  les  promenades  sont  remplis.  Avec 
la  diete,  dit  la  multitude,  nous  atteindrons  la  moisson,  et  alors 
nous  serons  sauves.  Noiis  mangerons  plutot  des  pierres  que  de  nous 
soumettre.  Tel  est  le  langage  des  charretiers,  des  forgeons,  des 
garsons  cordonniers,  imprimeurs,  femmes,  canaille  en  general.  Ces 
gens  sont  toujours  fanatiques,  regicides,  jacobins.  Rappelez-vous 
le  siege  de  Paris  au  temps  de  la  Ligue ;  on  y  mangeait  des  rats 
et  on  criait,  a  has  les  Bearnais  /  .  .  .  ne  comptez  sur  aucune 
guerre  civile,  c'est  une  vision  d'e'migres.  Les  guerres  n'ont  lieu 
que  de  prince  a  prince,  de  pre*tendant  a  pretendant  .  .  .  mais  ou 
regne  1'anarchie  populaire  il  n'y  a  que  des  insurrections,  des  brigan- 
dages, des  tueries,  des  2  septembre.  Le  fanatisme,  la  stupeur, 
la  betise,  et  la  faiblesse,  voila  l'e"tat  le  plus  general  de  la  France  " 
{Turin  Correspondence,  Descostes,  p.  372). 


public  opinion,  the  unexpected  result  of  their  victory 
over  the  Mountain,  these  men  devoted  all  their  energies 
to  maintaining  their  ascendency,  attempting  at  first  to 
pose  as  leaders  of  the  reaction  and  then,  finding  that 
their  past  crimes  made  them  detested  by  the  Jeunesse, 
falling  back  on  the  Mountain.  Their  tactics  during  the 
first  months  after  Thermidor  did  much  to  provoke  and 
stimulate  the  reaction  and  increase  the  chances  of  the 
Royalists,  which  seemed  to  grow  greater  till  they  cul- 
minated in  the  failure  of  the  formidable  terrorist  kmeute 
of  the  ist  of  Prairial,  energetically  repressed  by  the 
Convention  where  a  monarchical  party  had  taken  shape. 
For  the  first  time  since  the  loth  of  August,  the  opinion 
of  the  majority  had  asserted  itself,  and  the  party  of  order 
had  gained  the  upper  hand.  "  The  criminal  and  sanguin- 
ary Revolution,"  Mallet  wrote,  "is  over,  the  philosophic 
Revolution  alone  remains."  The  restoration  which 
thus  came  into  sight  in  the  summer  of  1795  was  not 
that  of  which  the  royalist  exiles  still  dreamed.  The 
Revolution,  "  which  like  the  Reformation  was  a  revolu- 
tion of  principles,"  had  raised  up  interests  so  numerous 
and  powerful  as  to  make  a  complete  restoration  as 
impossible  as  it  was  undesirable.  "  It  is,"  wrote 
Mallet  to  De  Pradt,  "  as  impossible  to  reconstruct  the 
ancien  regime  as  it  would  be  to  build  St.  Peter's  with 
the  dust  from  the  roads ".  It  was  a  return  to  the 
constitution  of  1791,  of  whose  faults  he  had  been  the 
most  unsparing  critic,  which  he  now  thought  alone 
possible.  That  constitution  offered  the  advantage  of 
a  system  already  known  and  consecrated  by  law  and 
usage.  Its  fatal  weakness,  the  powerlessness  to  which 
it  had  reduced  the  executive  in  the  person  of  the  King, 
might  he  thought  be  remedied  so  as  to  give  some  hope 


of  stability  to  a  constitutional  government.  Mallet  du 
Pan,  as  we  know,1  would  have  provided  safeguards  in 
a  new  constitution  of  the  most  stringent  kind,  for 
experience  had  taught  him  to  value  only  such  liberty  as 
was  compatible  with  public  order  and  with  the  national 
character.  But  speculations  as  to  the  best  kind  of 
monarchy  for  France  were  beside  the  mark.  "  //  s'agit 
de  decider  dabord  non  quelle  monarchic  on  aura,  mais 
si  I*  on  aura  une  monarchic"  One  point  only  was  clear. 
If  the  Republic,  which  was  nothing  but  a  permanent 
and  perpetual  revolution,  was  to  be  brought  to  an  end, 
there  must  be  an  absolute  repudiation  of  any  design  to 
reinstate  the  rotten  autocracy  of  1789. 

Such  was  the  general  situation  which  seemed  to 
promise  a  term  to  the  woes  under  which  France  and 
Europe  had  so  long  suffered.  But  the  reactionary 
elements  in  France  were  too  destitute  of  organisa- 
tion to  act  without  intelligent  direction  from  their 
natural  leaders,  that  assistance  was  as  usual  wanting, 
and  a  succession  of  disastrous  blunders  on  the  part  of 
the  allies,  the  Princes,  and  the  leaders  of  the  movement 
in  Paris,  soon  dealt  the  death-blow  to  the  hopes  in 
which  Mallet  du  Pan  had  begun  to  indulge  when  he 
wrote  to  De  Pradt  (April  1795)  that  he  was  being 
"  daily  pressed  to  return  to  Paris,  and  that  another 
turn  of  the  wheel  would  take  him  there ".  The 
peace  of  Bale,  the  death  of  the  Dauphin,  and  the 
Quiberon  expedition  followed  each  other  in  quick 
succession.  The  signature  of  the  treaty  with  Prussia 
(5th  April)  destroyed  the  one  powerful  lever  in  the 
hands  of  the  Powers,  the  desire  of  the  French  people 

1  See  Lettrcs  de  Mallet  du  Pan  a  Saladin  Egerton,  p.  25. 


for  peace ;  and  saved  the  Convention  by  enabling  it  to 
gratify  this  craving  and  to  hold  out  hopes  of  a  general 
pacification.  Mallet's  indignation  at  this  betrayal,  by 
which  Prussia  sacrificed  four  solemn  treaties  and  pre- 
ferred an  alliance  with  the  assassins  of  Louis  XVI., 
knew  no  bounds.  The  most  horrid  Jacobin,  he  wrote 
to  Turin,1  could  not  have  rendered  a  more  signal 
service  to  the  Revolution  than  Baron  Hardenberg.  If 
only  the  Prussian  Cabinet  had  temporised  a  few  weeks 
longer,  and  the  allies  had  held  together  refusing  to 
treat  with  the  Jacobins,  the  position  of  that  faction 
would  have  become  impossible.  Then  came  the  death 
of  the  young  prince  called  Louis  XVII.  Mallet  had 
followed  the  persecution  of  the  unfortunate  boy  in  his 
reports  to  Turin  and  Vienna,  and  in  a  letter  to  the 
latter  Court2  he  gave  details  of  the  treatment  of  the 

1  Descostes,  p.  334. 

2  "  Pendant  un  an  entier  le  jeune  Roi  a  couche  sur  un  grabat  qui 
ne  fut  jamais  remue,  lui-m£me  n'en  avail  pas  la  force :  cet  infortune 
etait  oblige  de  se  coucher  comme  un  pauvre  animal  sur  ce  lit  infect  et 
putride.     Madame  plus  avance'e  balayait  lui-meme  sa  chambre,  la 
nettoyait  et  veillait  a  la  proprete. 

"  Dans  leur  chambre  respective,  on  avait  pratique  un  tour  ou  on 
leur  apportait  a  manger ;  a  peine  leur  delivrait-on  a  quoi  soutenir  leur 
existence ;  ils  etaient  obliges  de  remettre  eux-memes  les  plats  de  la 
veille  dans  le  tour.  Les  barbaries  les  plus  raffine'es  se  succedaient 
chaque  jour.  .  .  .  On  forsait  les  deux  enfants  de  se  coucher  a  la 
nuit ;  jamais  on  ne  leur  a  donne  de  chandelle.  Deux  brigands 
veillaient  jour  et  nuit  autour  de  la  chambre  du  Roi ;  des  qu'il  etait 
plonge  dans  le  premier  sommeil,  un  de  ces  Cerberes  lui  criait  d'une 
voix  effroyable :  Capet,  oil  es-tu  ?  dors-tu  ? — Me  voila  repondait  1'enfant, 
moitie  endormi  et  tout  tremblant.  Aussitot  le  garde  1'obligeait  de 
sortir  du  lit,  d'accourir  nu  et  suant  pour  se  montrer.  Trois  heures 
apres,  1'autre  brigand  repetait  la  meme  scene"  (Correspondence  for 
Vienna,  \.,  241-2). 



two  children  of  Louis  XVI.  in  the  Temple  after  the 
execution  of  the  Queen  and  of  Madame  Elizabeth 
of  the  most  harrowing  description,  the  recital  of 
which  can  hardly  have  gratified  the  Emperor.  His 
death  on  the  8th  of  June  179^,  aged  ten  years  and  two 
months,  murdered  as  certainly  as  if  he  had  shared  his 
father's  scaffold,  drew  from  Mallet  some  words  of  manly 
indignation.  "Not  one  of  the  Powers  had  deigned  to 
interest  itself  in  the  pitiable  lot  of  this  family,  to  claim 
for  them  some  consideration  or  even  to  inform  itself  of 
their  fate !  And  it  is  with  the  men  who  have  inflicted 
these  horrors  on  the  descendants  of  fifty  kings,  related 
to  most  of  the  crowned  heads  of  Europe,  que  Pon  traite, 
que  Ion  fraternise,  que  Fon  signe  des  traite's  de  paix !  "  * 
The  event  was  a  great  blow  to  the  royalist  move- 
ment in  France.  It  removed  the  rallying  point  of 
the  Royalists  to  a  foreign  and  hostile  country,  to  a 
Prince  whom  Mallet  almost  insultingly  described  to 
the  Emperor  as  the  *  Roi  des  Emigres1.  It  was  a 
calamity,  he  said  in  his  uncompromising  fashion  in  reply 
to  a  question  from  the  Princes,  which  had  postponed 
the  restoration  and  made  possible  the  rapprochement 
between  the  Republicans  and  the  Constitutionalists, 
for  "  his  Majesty  did  not  count  as  regent,  he  is  dreaded 
as  King".  It  was  a  calamity  which  Louis  XVIII.  pro- 

1  Correspondence  for  Turin,  Descostes,  p.  378.  Mallet  du  Pan 
thus  described  the  callous  attitude  of  the  corps  diplomatique:  "Le 
jour  meme  de  la  mort  du  roi,  le  Comte  Carletti  a  donne"  une  con- 
versazione somptueuse  a  la  campagne  a  deux  cents  deputes,  a  leurs 
catins,  aux  intrigants  les  plus  pervers  et  a  toute  la  canaille  du  beau 
monde  re"publicain.  Mme  Tallien  etant  la  divinite  du  jour,  Mme  de 
Stael  a  prodigue*  les  hommages  les  plus  vils.  Voila  oil  Ton  est  a  la 
fin  du  XVIIIe  siecle!  (Correspondence for  Turin,  Descostes,  p.  377). 


ceeded  to  make  irreparable  by  issuing  from  Verona  the 
Declaration  (of  24th  June)  affirming  the  necessity  of  a 
simple  return  to  the  ancient  constitution  of  France, 
which  showed  how  completely  exile  had  caused  a  clever 
man  to  lose  touch  with  public  opinion,  and  which  served, 
in  Mallet  du  Pan's  words,  only  to  "  divide,  to  irritate, 
to  chill ". 

This  time  nevertheless  the  Princes  had  made  ap- 
parently serious  advances  to  Mallet  du  Pan,  and  had 
despatched  Count  Francois  de  Sainte-Aldegonde,  a 
gentleman  attached  to  D'Artois,  to  confer  with  him  at 
Schaffhausen  on  a  number  of  questions  to  which  they 
desired  answers.  These  he  gave,  having  previously 
summed  up  his  views  in  two  notes  to  "the  King"1  in 
which  he  fully  described  the  state  of  opinion  in  France, 
sketched  out  the  line  of  action  which  commended  itself 
to  him,  and  impressed  upon  his  Majesty  in  respectful  but 
forcible  terms  that  what  the  monarchists  in  Paris  above 
all  things  required  was  the  "  moral  resurrection  of  the 
King,"  and  an  appeal  from  him  to  the  nation  opening 
communications  with  the  moderate  elements  in  the 
country.  Action  was  imperatively  demanded,  and  ac- 
tion through  reputable  and  trusted  agents. 

These  counsels  proved,  as  Mallet  du  Pan  had  doubt- 
less anticipated,  wholly  unacceptable  to  the  Princes, 
and  Louis  distrusting  a  man  a  systeme  moderne 2 

1  Dated  3rd  and  loth  July  1795.     Sayous,  ii.,  151-169. 

2  In  1799  he  replied  to  a  suggestion  by  the  Comte  de  Saint-Priest 
to  employ  Mallet  du  Pan  in  writing  a  fresh  Declaration  as  follows : 
"  L'idee  d'employer  la  plume  de  Mallet  du  Pan  est  tres  bonne  .  .  . 
mais  en  connaissant  le  merite  de  cet  ecrivain,  je  connais  aussi  ses 
defauts :  tant  qu'il  ne  s'agit  que  d'attaquer  les  vices  de  qui  est  fait 
son  style  clair,  sa  logique  serree  portent  la  conviction  dans  1'esprit 


never  again  made  a  pretence  of  deferring  to  his 
opinion.  D'Artois  indeed  continued  from  time  to 
time,  notably  in  London  four  years  later,  to  solicit  his 
advice,  and  it  is  curious  that  the  future  Charles  X. 
should  thus  have  appeared  more  liberal  than  Louis 
XVIII.  More  accessible  and  more  courteous  he 
certainly  was,  and  the  preference  of  the  Duke  of 
Wellington  for  the  younger  brother  is  only  one 
instance  of  the  superior  popularity  he  always  enjoyed 
with  those  who  came  in  contact  with  him.  But  at 
every  crisis  of  his  life,  from  his  desertion  of  Louis 
XVI.  and  Marie  Antoinette  to  his  desertion  of  the 
Due  de  Richelieu  in  1821,  he  showed  himself,  as  he 
was,  unprincipled  and  faithless,  and  his  occasional 
overtures  to  Mallet  du  Pan  merely  proved  that  he 
was  not  above  intriguing  with  constitutionalism  with 
a  view  to  securing  adherents  in  case  his  brother's 
more  uncompromising  policy  made  him  impossible. 
Louis'  attitude  is  more  difficult  to  account  for.  He 
was  a  man  of  broader  mind  and,  as  he  showed  on 
several  occasions  in  later  life,  of  much  more  acute 
political  perception  than  D'Artois ;  he  was  capable 
of  learning  from  experience,  for  the  author  of  the 
Declaration  of  St.  Ouen  was  a  wiser  man  than  the 
author  of  the  Declaration  of  Verona.  But  it  was  long 

de  ses  lecteurs,  mais  lorsqu'il  s'agit  du  futur,  fhomme  a  systeme 
moderne  se  fait  apercevoir,  et  il  nuit  plus  qu'il  ne  sert.  II  lui  faut 
done  un  rdgulateur  et  plutot  trop  ferme  que  pas  assez;  car  entre 
les  mains  d'un  homme  qui  abonderait  dans  son  sens,  il  aurait  les 
plus  grands  inconvenients,  et  tels  que  je  prefererais  son  silence  a  ses 
services"  Louis,  fortified  by  De  Maistre,  still  adhered  to  the  terms 
of  the  Declaration  of  Verona.  (From  the  letters  and  instructions 
of  Louis  XVIII.  to  Saint-Priest,  quoted  by  M.  Thureau-Dangin, 
Royalistes  et  R'epublicains ;  p.  121.) 


before  he  showed  any  spirit  of  concession  to  popular 
ideas  or  any  consciousness  that  the  France  of  1789 
was  gone  for  ever,  and  meanwhile  the  opportunity 
of  setting  a  term  to  the  progress  of  revolution  had 
passed  never  to  return.  That  a  Prince  of  some  power 
of  thought  and  experience,  but  entirely  wanting  in 
the  qualities  of  initiative  and  action,  was  unable  to 
shake  off  the  influences  of  an  absolutist  court  and  the 
miserable  tradition  of  an  emigrk  regency  may  be  ex- 
plained without  attaching  undue  importance  to  pettier 
motives.  But  Louis  XVIII.  was  a  be  I  esprit,  and  it 
is  probable  that  offended  vanity  may  have  had  some- 
thing to  do  with  the  withdrawal  of  his  confidence 
from  a  too  free-spoken  and  republican  adviser.  It 
is  impossible  to  affirm  that  Mallet  du  Pan's  character 
possessed  any  of  the  qualities  likely  to  propitiate  a 
pretender  who  found  his  consolations  in  the  incense 
of  flatterers,  in  the  belief  in  his  divine  right,  and  in 
the  ceremonial  of  a  mock  court.  Mallet  du  Pan  had 
reasoned  himself  into  royalism,  but  he  never  came 
near  legitimism.  A  man  who  could  have  stooped 
to  seek  opportunities  of  access,  to  mingle  with  his 
counsels  some  discreet  adulation  and  to  applaud  the 
royal  epigrams,  might  conceivably  have  obtained  a 
useful  influence  and  weaned  the  monarch  from  his 
parasites.  But  the  failure  of  the  moderate  members 
of  Louis'  own  court  to  alter  his  views  probably  shows 
he  was  not  at  this  time  to  be  shaken  by  arts  or 
arguments  however  adroit.  "  Toleration  as  regards 
individuals,  intolerance  as  regards  principles,"  was  the 
maxim  which  Louis  XVIII.  had  announced  in  his  ably 
written  letter  to  Mounier,  a  maxim  not  unnaturally 
inspired  by  the  recollection  of  the  disastrous  failure 


of  his  Brother's  unresisting  compliance  with  popular 
demands.  If  he  sought  Mallet's  advice,  it  was  doubt- 
less with  the  wish  to  obtain  the  moral  support  of  a 
man  who  had  stood  high  in  the  confidence  of  Louis 
XVI.,  and  whose  pen  had  gained  him  the  ear  of  the 
public  and  of  continental  statesmen  ;  but  with  no 
intention  to  follow  it  if  it  did  not  coincide  with  his 
own  preconceived  opinion. 

Mallet  du  Pan  then  failed  to  influence  the  new 
court,  but  he  failed  in  company  with  all  the  wisest 
advisers  of  the  Princes.  The  Prince  de  Poix,  who, 
on  the  loth  of  August,  had  covered  Louis  XVI.  with 
his  body  in  the  Tuileries  and  who  had  lost  his  father 
and  mother  on  the  guillotine,  was  disgraced  and  exiled 
from  Verona ;  and  De  Castries  and  Sainte-Aldegonde 
who  were  in  complete  agreement  with  Mallet  wrote 
to  him  full  of  sympathetic  despair  at  the  attitude  of 
their  royal  masters.  The  royal  confidence  was  given 
instead  to  men  like  Montgaillard  and  D'Entraigues, 
the  two  most  consummate  liars,  as  Mallet  described 
them,  to  be  found  in  France,  and  the  latter  of  whom 
gloried  in  the  title  of  the  Marat  of  the  counter-revolu- 
tion, and  was  so  good  as  to  write  that  he  doubted 
whether  Mallet  du  Pan  was  entirely  devoted  to  the 
Jacobins.  Emissaries  and  writers  such  as  these,  en- 
couraged by  the  patronage  of  D'Artois  and  Conde,  vied 
with  each  other  in  sanguinary  attacks  on  the  constitu- 
tional Royalists  whose  aid  was  indispensable  to  any 
serious  enterprise.1  The  impression  made  by  these 
incendiaries  in  Paris  may  be  imagined ;  every  one 

1 "  Lafayette  is  classed  with  Jourdan  Coupe-Tete,  Cazales  with 
Talleyrand,  Malouet  beneath  Robespierre,  Mallet  du  Pan  lower  than 
Gorsas,  Carra,  or  Brissot !"  (Thureau-Dangin.) 


was  soon  saying  that  no  hesitation  was  possible  be- 
tween the  Republicans  and  enemies  so  implacable, 
and  Mallet's  comment  is  no  more  than  was  justified 
when  he  wrote  to  his  friend, 

"  Stultorum  magister  est  eventus.  These  gentlemen  may 
make  themselves  quite  easy  about  the  description  of  the 
monarchy  to  be  established  in  France,  for  there  will  be 
no  monarchy  at  all.  The  last  Stuarts  reasoned  and  con- 
ducted themselves  as  they  reason  and  conduct  them- 
selves abroad  ;  their  end  will  be  the  same." 

The  failure  of  the  miserably  conceived  and  executed 
descent  of  the  British  and  the  emigres  on  Quiberon,  and 
the  pusillanimous  conduct  of  the  Comte  d'Artois1  on 
that  occasion,  placed  fresh  arms  in  the  hands  of  the 
Thermidorians,  and  made  the  ridiculous  and  futile  talk 
from  Verona  of  "clemency  and  pardon"  to  the  early 
revolutionaries  more  ridiculous  and  futile  than  before. 

Again  Mallet  writes  to  Sainte-Aldegonde  :— 

"  If  they  wish  to  lose  everything  let  them  go  on 
with  their  equipees  a  la  Quiberon,  their  extravagances 

lrThe  last  vol.  (iii.)  of  the  Dropmore  Papers,  with  its  interesting 
introduction  by  Mr.  Walter  FitzPatrick,  gives  a  great  deal  of  informa- 
tion as  to  the  causes  of  the  failure  of  the  Quiberon  expedition  when 
Pitt  had  at  last  resolved  on  the  despatch  of  20,000  men  under  Lord 
Moira.  The  decision  to  send  for  the  Comte  d'Artois,  who  was  ac- 
cordingly conveyed  in  a  British  ship  from  the  Elbe  to  Spithead, 
where  he  lived  most  uncomfortably  in  the  cabin  of  a  small  and 
crowded  seventy-four,  unable  to  land  at  Portsmouth  for  fear  of  arrest 
for  debt,  was  an  unfortunate  one.  Though  he  talked  a  great  deal 
about  it,  he  could  never  make  up  his  mind  to  insist  on  being  landed 
in  France  and  joining  his  heroic  Vendean  followers,  and  the  British 
Government  made  no  attempt  to  facilitate  his  landing  in  England. 
The  whole  business  as  described  in  this  correspondence  shows  the 
usual  ill-management  of  Pitt's  Government  in  war ;  and  exhibits  the 
blustering  but  irresolute  D'Artois  in  a  very  unfavourable  light. 


d  la  Coblentz,  their  fables  of  chivalry,  of  Dunois  and 
Gaston  de  Foix,  of  kings  who  speak  of  conquering 
their  kingdom  without  a  battalion,  who  talk  at  Verona 
as  Henry  IV.  had  the  right  to  talk  on  the  field  of  Ivry. 
In  heaven's  name,  my  dear  friend,  once  for  all  stop  this 
deluge  of  folly,  silence  your  impertinent  pamphleteers, 
cut  off  your  moustaches,  tell  the  tmigrts  to  cease  ex-  ^ 
terminating  one  another  if  they  wish  to  go  back  to 
France  and  to  their  properties.  .  .  .  It  is  not  for  us  to 
direct  events  in  the  country,  it  is  for  them  to  guide  us. 
The  Monarchists  there  dread  nothing  so  much  as  our 
great  measures,  our  great  armies,  our  great  plans, 
which  have  produced  such  great  results."  All  illusions 
as  to  the  usefulness  of  the  war  are  gone.  "  I  am  anxious 
for  and  I  believe  in  a  general  peace.  The  Powers 
have  assuredly  nothing  better  to  hope  for  ...  whether 
they  recognise  the  King  or  not  matters  not  six  farth- 
ings ;  it  is  by  France  herself  and  not  by  beaten  and 
execrated  foreigners  that  he  must  be  adopted." 

Unfortunately  the  Monarchists  within  were  little 
wiser  than  the  Royalists  without.  The  mistaken  action 
of  the  latter  had  increased  the  chance  that  the  new 
Republican  constitution,  which  was  being  elaborated  in 
the  Convention,  would  be  accepted  by  the  men  of 
moderate  opinions  in  the  country,  where  the  Ther- 
midorians  who  clung  to  power  with  the  desperation  of 
fear  again  made  common  cause  with  the  Mountain,  and 
succeeded  in  carrying  the  decrees  of  Fructidor  reserving 
two-thirds  of  the  places  in  the  new  councils  to  members 
of  the  Convention.  These  decrees  raised  a  storm  of  «/ 
indignation  which  gave  a  fresh  impulse  to  royalist 
feeling.  But  their  leaders,  and  especially  some  of 
their  writers,  instead  of  biding  their  time  and  trusting 
to  the  annual  elections  to  turn  the  growing  movement 
to  advantage,  played  into  the  hands  of  the  Convention 


by  taking  up  their  challenge  without  concert  or  direc- 
tion, save  the  deliberations  in  the  sections  of  Paris  ; 
they  blundered  impetuously  into  the  struggle  for  which 
the  Thermidorians  were  longing  and  for  which  they 
had  prepared  by  massing  troops  and  arming  the  Jaco- 
bins;  and  the  day  of  the  i3th  of  Vende'miaire,  when 
Bonaparte  under  the  direction  of  Barras  crushed  the 
Jeunesse,  ensured  the  continuance  under  legal  forms 
of  the  Jacobin  rule  and  destroyed  the  hopes  alike  of 
a  royalist  restoration  and  of  a  moderate  republic. 
'Nous  voila  retombes?  wrote  Mallet  du  Pan  on  28th 
October,1  'dans  un  abime  sans  fond'  "Only  those 
who  know  by  what  efforts  Paris  has  been  roused  from 
its  lethargy  can  judge  of  the  difficulty  of  again  bring- 
ing about  a  similar  conjunction  of  favourable  circum- 
stances." The  depth  of  his  discouragement  shows 
how  real  in  his  opinion  had  been  the  chance  which  had 
come  into  view  during  these  months  for  the  first  time 
since  the  fatal  days  of  October  1789  of  ending  the 
Revolution  by  the  establishment  of  a  constitutional 
monarchy,  by  an  anticipation  in  fact  of  i8i4.2  Mallet 
du  Pan  dwelt  on  the  part  played  by  the  Revolutionaries 
of  1789  and  the  Constitutionalists  of  1791,  whom  the 
6migr'es  and  their  King  had  been  too  shortsighted  to 
conciliate,  in  the  victory  of  the  Jacobin  Republic.  But 
the  Zmigr'es  were  not  displeased  at  the  catastrophe 
"because  the  livery  of  the  ancien  regime  had  not 

1  Letter  to  Sainte-Aldegonde. 

2  "  Je  vous  certifie  que  le  retablissement  de  la  Monarchic  &ait  le 
but  central  des  operations ;  on  y  fut  parvenu,  sans  aucun  doute,  si 
la  Convention  eut  6t6  force  a  renoncer  a  la  reflection,  et  avec  un 
nouveau  Corps  le*gislatif"   (Lettres  de   Mallet  du  Pan  a   Saladin 
Egerton,  p.  27). 


been  at  once  assumed,"  "because  the  royalism  of  its 
authors  did  not  possess  its  sixteen  quarterings "I1  A 
few  months  later  he  uttered  the  prophecy  which  was 
to  prove  so  terribly  precise  : — 

'  On  ne  recouvrera  la  monarchic  que  sur  des 
monceaux  de  cendres  et  de  cadavres,  et  apres  avoir  vu 
un  usurpateur  en  saisir  les  renes  et  les  conserver  peut- 
etre  fort  longtemps '. 

The  action  of  Mallet  du  Pan  during  the  critical 
months  thus  briefly  sketched  would  be  sufficient,  even 
if  it  stood  alone,  to  justify  his  title  to  the  possession  of 
high  political  capacity.  From  this  time  he  definitely 
takes  the  place  claimed  for  him  by  M.  Thureau-Dan- 
gin  as  the  most  prominent,  active  and  devoted  represen- 
tative of  the  only  royalism  worthy  of  the  name,  of  the 
royalism  which,  if  it  had  been  adopted  in  1795,  would 
undoubtedly  have  terminated  the  Revolution,  and  which 
alone  was  to  bear  fruit  in  the  future.  His  voluminous 
official  reports  and  private  letters  at  this  time  illustrate 
his  finest  qualities  as  a  writer,  his  genius  for  realising 
and  depicting  the  exact  condition  of  public  opinion, 
his  power  of  analysing  party  feeling  and  party  distinc- 
tions, his  insight  into  the  real  needs  of  the  situation, 
his  courage  in  advocating  unpalatable  views  ;  all  the 
qualities  in  short  which  distinguish  the  constructive 
statesman.  The  rest  of  his  career  will  only  testify  to 
the  apparent  uselessness  during  his  own  life  of  the 
self-sacrificing  exercise  of  these  remarkable  faculties. 

The  advent  of  the  Directory  to  power  not  only  put 
an  end  to  the  hopes  of  peace,  but  inaugurated  a  phase  of 
the  war  which  was  not  to  end  till  Europe  had  been 

1  Letter  to  Sainte-Aldegonde,  28th  October  1795. 

BERNE  203 

overturned  from  one  end  to  the  other,  till  it  had  more 
than  justified  the  prediction  which  Mallet  had  made  in 
January  1792.  The  pages  of  the  Correspondence  for 
the  Emperor  will  enable  us  to  follow  Mallet  du  Pan's 
unavailing  counsels  as  to  the  conduct  of  the  war  and 
the  general  situation  of  France  under  the  Directory 
But  it  is  time  to  turn  to  his  life  and  occupations  in  the 
ancient  and  aristocratic  Republic  of  Berne  which  was 
his  home  for  nearly  four  years,  and  where  his  son  had 
joined  his  family  after  witnessing  the  bloody  revolution 
at  Geneva,  and  hearing  the  proclamation  read  which  con- 
demned Mallet  du  Pan  as  one  of  the  first  of  those  to  suffer 
death  if  ever  found  in  the  territory  of  the  State.  He 
has  left  a  description  of  Berne  which  is  worth  quoting  :— 

"  The  contrast  between  Geneva  and  Berne  is  at  all 
times  striking  ;  the  one  an  old,  irregular,  and  in  part  a 
gloomy  town,  inhabited  by  an  intelligent,  disputatious, 
over-active  people,  hemmed  up  in  their  beehive,  on  the 
confines  of  three  other  States  ;  surrounded  by  a  country 
full  of  natural  beauties,  but  far  from  fertile  ;  bare  of 
verdure  and  fine  timber,  and  through  which  the  access 
to  the  town  is  confined  to  dusty  roads,  without  any 
agreeable  circumstances  save  the  view  of  the  lake  and 
the  Alps.  Berne,  on  the  contrary,  is  the  capital  of  a 
large  canton,  and  the  place  of  residence  of  an  ancient 
and  powerful  aristocracy,  many  of  whom  deserted  their 
baronial  residences  in  the  thirteenth  and  fourteenth 
centuries  to  seek  the  security  and  immunities  of  an 
Imperial  and  walled  town,  and  who  subsequently 
brought  a  large  portion  of  the  Swiss  territory  under 
their  dominion.  With  the  exception  of  the  Pays  de 
Vaud,  the  population  of  the  canton  was  German — a 
grave,  methodical  people,  chiefly  engaged  in  pastoral 
and  agricultural  pursuits  ;  many  of  them  wealthy  ;  a 
hard,  rugged,  fine  race  of  men.  The  town  itself  is  a 


model  of  order,  cleanliness  and  attention  to  public 
objects  ;  the  country  around  hilly  and  wooded,  nearly 
all  in  pasture  land,  and  watered  with  numerous  streams 
—a  perfect  picture  of  agricultural  prosperity  and  agree- 
able scenery.  The  roads  are  as  fine  as  any  in  Europe, 
with  broad  footways  to  a  considerable  distance  from  the 
town  ;  the  woods  and  meadows  intersected  by  paths  in 
every  direction,  and  the  Jungfrau,  Eigers,  and  Wetter- 
horn,  with  various  intermediate  chains  of  Alps,  bounding 
the  horizon.  According  to  all  appearances,  and  also  in 
reality,  a  happy  and  well-governed  country.  No  taxes, 
a  strict  administration  of  the  revenues  of  the  State, 
justice  done  between  man  and  man ;  in  most  respects 
an  excellent  government,  and  yet  vastly  remote  from 
the  beau  ideal  of  modern  times."1 

As  for  the   Bernese  Government   its   faults  were 
those  of  a  government— 

"  founded  on  a  principle  of  exclusion,  and  jealous  of 
any  distinction,  whether  arising  from  wealth,  active 
intelligence,  or  social  rank,  other  in  fact  than  that  of 
member  of  the  Great  Council  of  Berne.  Hence  a  syste- 
matic discouragement  of  manufacturing  industry  and 
political  discussion,  and  a  feeling  towards  the  nobles  of 
the  Pays  de  Vaud  which  generally  made  the  govern- 
ment lean  towards  the  peasantry  in  all  the  differences 
between  the  gentry  and  the  people.  With  all  these 
faults,  however,  there  was  at  Berne  what  is  generally 
found  in  all  aristocratic  Republics,  a  character  of  eleva- 
tion and  energy  which  is  seldom  seen  in  more  popular 
governments ;  and  this  observation  in  some  measure 
holds  good  of  individuals  in  such  States,  in  whom 
republican  virtues  are  often  found  united  with  pride 
of  birth  and  ancestry." : 

The  life  of  the  family  was  simplicity  itself.     Their 
finances  were  reduced  to  a  low  ebb,   but  in  one  of 

1  Reminiscences.  2  Ibid. 

BERNE  205 

Mallet's  few  allusions  to  such  matters,  replying  to  an 
offer  from  De  Castries  of  assistance,  he  says,  about  this 
time,  that  he  was  still  living  on  what  he  had  saved 
from  the  wreck  of  Paris  and  Geneva  and  that  he 
had  not  yet  suffered  physical  privation,  '  et  cest  beau- 
coup  '.  He  refused  therefore  to  abuse  the  kindness  of 
his  fellow  victims,  expressing  his  confidence  in  finding 
resources  when  his  plan  of  life  was  decided  on.  These 
as  it  happened  were  provided  until  1798  by  his  political 
correspondence  for  Vienna,  Berlin  and  Lisbon ;  and 
there  is  in  existence  an  account-book  in  which  he  kept 
a  strict  account  of  his  expenditure,  which  never  ex- 
ceeded an  income  of  about  ^400  a  year,  while  he 
always  had  a  reserve  fund  of  ^200  or  ^300  for  unfore- 
seen expenses.  Jealous  of  his  personal  independence, 
which  he  always  looked  on  as  his  most  precious  posses- 
sion, and  therefore  forced  to  practise  a  rigid  economy, 
he  never  neglected  the  claims  of  friends  or  the  education 
of  his  children  ;  and  while  the  family  were  all  dining  at 
ninepence  a  head  he  provided  his  sons  and  daughters 
with  an  Italian  master  and  a  music  master. 

"  At  first l  we  had  furnished  lodgings  in  the  Grande 
Rue,  on  the  second  floor  of  a  grocer's  shop,  kept  by  a 
nephew  of  the  great  Haller,  bearing  the  same  name, 
and  proud  of  it,  not  because  it  had  been  honoured  by 
his  distinguished  relative,  but  because  it  was  the  name 
of  a  patrician  family.  Our  apartments  were  altogether 
warmed  with  stoves  ;  there  was  not  a  chimney  in  the 
whole  house ;  and  we  were  fed  from  the  hotel  or  the 
restaurateur.  This  manner  of  supply  was  called  the 
cantine,  from  an  old-fashioned  word,  cantina,  a  cellar  or 
pot-house,  whence  the  French  military  word  cantine,  or 

1  Reminiscences. 


soldier's  can.  The  fare  was  execrable,  but  the  cheap- 
ness perfectly  incredible.  We  had  as  many  portions 
as  we  chose  of  each  sort  of  mess,  and  so  far  as  I  re- 
member we  all  dined  for  thirty  batz,  or  33.  6d.  At  the 
end  of  a  few  months  we  got  tired  of  the  Hallers  and 
the  cantine,  and  took  an  airy  and  cheerful  apartment 
on  the  Market  Place.  A  market  day  is  one  of  the 
great  sights  of  Berne,  the  peasantry  resorting  to  it 
from  many  miles  around  in  their  light  carts,  generally 
drawn  by  four  horses  of  a  fine  breed,  well  harnessed 
and  driven  by  reins.  The  provisions  they  bring  are 
abundant  and  excellent  of  their  kind  ;  but  the  Bernois 
are  bad  cooks  ;  their  cookery,  as  well  as  their  language, 
is  of  German  origin,  but  degenerated,  and  as  they  are 
very  inhospitable  their  cookery  is  not  likely  to  improve. 
During  the  years  we  were  at  Berne  we  did  not  once 
dine  with  any  Bernois  family.  My  father  was  asked 
to  the  houses  of  members  of  the  Government,  but 
alone.  .  .  . 

"  Our  society  principally  consisted  of  French  and 
Genevese  refugees,  among  whom  the  virtuous  and 
distinguished  President  of  the  National  Assembly, 
Mounier,  and  his  family,  stood  foremost  in  our  regard. 
The  other  French  emigrants  of  our  acquaintance  were 
chiefly  from  Lyons  and  Franche-Comte.  The  Lyonese 
were  among  the  survivors  of  that  destructive  siege 
which  is  remembered  as  one  of  the  most  terrific  events 
of  the  French  Revolution  ;  persons  of  the  middle 
classes,  chiefly  manufacturers  and  merchants ;  well- 
informed,  domestic,  and  of  the  most  respectable  habits  ; 
by  far  the  best  class  of  French  emigrants  I  have 
known.  We  lived  upon  terms  of  intimacy  with  several 
of  them,  and  with  many  of  our  own  countrymen  who 
had  lately  fled  from  Geneva.  Among  the  latter  were 
the  Gallatins,  Falquets,  Diodatis,  and  a  spruce,  middle- 
aged  bachelor,  Sarrazin,  who  had  been  in  the  service 
of  the  King  of  Prussia,  and  who,  with  good  sense  and 
good  manners,  made  himself  ridiculous  by  his  adherence 

BERNE  207 

to  the  stiff  gait,  tight  dress,  and  coxcombical  habits  of 
a  Prussian  Guardsman :  he  was  a  sort  of  beau  to 
Madame  Diodati.  Count  Gallatin  and  his  wife  were 
among  the  most  distinguished  Genevese  :  he  a  superior 
man,  in  spite  of  his  affected  manners,  and  a  great 
friend  of  my  father's,  who  for  several  years  corre- 
sponded with  him.  He  died  minister  of  Bavaria  at 
Paris  in  1823,  and  was  of  the  same  family  as  Albert 
Gallatin,  of  the  United  States.  .  .  . 

"  Our  little  circle  of  refugees  met  several  times  a 
week,  sometimes  at  one  house,  sometimes  at  another ; 
for  many  of  our  friends  lived  in  the  immediate  vicinity 
of  the  town.  The  winters  at  Berne  are  often  beautiful. 
I  have  seen  there  six  weeks  of  uninterrupted  bright, 
clear  frost,  with  an  almost  unclouded  sky,  and  the 
ground,  as  it  were,  sparkling  with  gems.  This  was 
the  time  for  long  excursions  ;  nor  did  the  severity  of 
the  season  ever  interrupt  our  social  intercourse.  Our 
walks  home  at  night  from  the  country  houses  of  our 
friends,  muffled  up  in  our  cloaks,  and  with  servants 
carrying  lanterns,  were  often  full  of  merriment.  The 
interests,  opinions  and  prejudices  of  our  little  circle 
were  all  engaged  on  the  same  side  ;  we  only  differed 
as  to  the  means  of  bringing  about  a  counter-revolu- 
tion, and  my  father's  judgment  in  these  matters 
being  held  paramount,  whenever  he  condescended  to 
join  our  parties  it  was  considered  as  a  great  compli- 

At  Berne  Mallet  du  Pan  was  for  his  purposes 
fortunately  placed  ;  he  was  in  the  very  centre  of  in- 
trigue and  diplomacy,  and  surrounded  by  emigres  and 
emissaries  of  every  party.  Many  calls  upon  his  time 
arose  from  the  arrival  of  political  characters  or  other 
individuals  who  came  to  him  for  one  reason  or  another, 
some  to  communicate  their  schemes  and  solicit  his 
advice,  others  to  request  his  assistance  with  the  allied 


courts,  others  again  merely  to  talk  politics  and  make 
his  acquaintance : — 

"  The  greater  number  of  these  persons  came  from 
Paris,  the  Swiss  frontier  being  the  only  outlet,  and 
Switzerland  itself  the  scene  of  much  political  corre- 
spondence and  intrigue.  I  have  a  note  of  Madame 
de  StaeTs,  written  to  my  father  from  the  Faucon  (an 
inn  at  Berne)  in  terms  highly  complimentary,  request- 
ing an  interview  with  him.  He,  however,  declined 
seeing  her  which  was  somewhat  stern,  and  can  only 
be  explained  by  his  dread  of  her  intriguing  disposition 
and  his  extreme  aversion  to  political  notoriety  in 
women.  Such  was  the  opinion  entertained  of  my 
father's  judgment,  means  of  information,  and  probity 
of  character  that  some  of  the  most  distinguished  in- 
dividuals among  the  French  Constitutionalists,  such 
as  the  Comte  de  Narbonne,  Theodore  de  Lameth, 
Mathieu  Dumas  and  others,  whose  opinions  and 
conduct  in  the  Revolution  had  been  animadverted 
upon  in  his  writings  in  terms  of  great  severity,  never- 
theless consulted  him  in  the  most  unreserved  manner, 
and  expressed  on  all  occasions  their  esteem  for  his 
character."  1 

From  the  earliest  days  of  his  settlement  in  Berne 
Mallet  du  Pan  had  been  suspiciously  watched  by  the 
able  French  minister  Barthe'lemy  who  reported  to  his 
Government  the  supposed  intrigues,  the  '  diaboliques 
menees'  in  which  he  was  engaged,  and  cast  about  for 
the  means  of  "eliminating"  him  from  his  native  country. 
'  On  ne  peut  se  dissimuler]  he  wrote  in  March  1794, 
'  que  ce  Genevois  est  une  vraie  m£che  cCenfer  pour 
notre  pays!  These  words  may  be  placed  side  by  side 
with  the  imprecations  from  the  court  of  the  regent  at 

1  Reminiscences, 


Verona  against  '  ce  diable  cThomme  quon  ne  pouvait 
parvenir  &  faire  taire\  There  is,  as  M.  Descostes 
has  well  said,  abuse  which  does  honour  to  its  object, 
and  the  attacks  with  which  Mallet  du  Pan  was  over- 
whelmed by  extremists  on  both  sides  is  the  truest 
homage  which  could  have  been  paid  to  his  political 

There  were  at  that  time  but  two  foreign  ministers 
at  Berne  besides  the  French  representative  Barthelemy, 
those  from  Sardinia  and  England.  Baron  Vignet,  the 

"  was  a  large  lumbering  man,  slovenly  to  the  greatest 
degree,  with  his  waistcoat  always  open,  and  his 
shirt  frill  spattered  with  snuff;  chattering  with  all 
comers  ;  cursing  the  French,  and  playing  whist  with 
the  old  dowagers  of  Berne.  I  must  not  omit  his  dinner 
which  was  one  of  the  most  important  of  his  concerns. 
Truffles  were  a  great  article  with  him,  and  he  always 
carried  some  in  his  pocket  which  he  offered  to  people 
as  one  offers  a  lozenge  or  a  pinch  of  snuff.  He  had  a 
great  opinion  of  my  father  and  the  kindest  feelings 
towards  us,  and  often  came  and  chatted  with  my  mother 
in  the  morning ;  on  some  of  which  occasions  I  have 
seen  him  call  for  a  little  silver  saucepan  and  a  couple 
of  eggs  when  the  plenipotentiary  would  pare  and  slice 
his  truffles,  mix  them  with  the  eggs,  and  stirring  the 
whole  over  the  fire  make  an  excellent  mess  of  ceufs 
brouilles.  With  all  this  the  baron  had  very  good  natural 

sense,  and  no  want  of  shrewdness  or  political  discern- 

^  "i 

Mallet  du  Pan's  relations  with  the  court  of  Turin 
perhaps  owed  their  origin  to  his  acquaintance  with  the 
British  minister  there,  Mr.  Trevor  afterwards  Lord 

1  Reminiscences. 


Hampden,  to  whom  he  had  been  introduced  by  Sir 
John  Macpherson.  Trevor  remained  one  of  his  warmest 
admirers  and  friends  ;  and  his  relations  with  the  British 
representatives  at  Berne  began  auspiciously,  his  con- 
stant visits  to  Lord  Robert  Fitzgerald  attracting  the 
attention  of  the  French  spies.  Lord  Robert  seems  to 
have  been  a  rather  typical  specimen  of  an  English 
diplomatist;  "a  fine,  aristocratic-looking  person,"  he  is 
described,  "  with  the  air  and  address  of  a  high-bred 
gentleman  ;  nor  was  he  deficient  in  information  and 
intelligence ;  but  inactive,  and  without  capacity  for 
affairs ".  But  Mallet's  relations  with  the  successive 
English  ministers  were  early  disturbed  by  an  incident 
which  gave  him  much  concern  at  the  time,  and  very 
much  weakened  the  credit  he  had  enjoyed  with  the 
British  Government.  Careful  as  he  was  he  could  not 
be  always  on  his  guard  against  misrepresentations,  and 
on  this  occasion  he  seems  to  have  been  misled.  In 
September  1794  Theodore  de  Lameth  and  his  friends 
thought  they  saw  a  chance  of  organising  the  moderates 
in  Paris  through  the  Thermidorians,  so  as  to  bring 
about  the  restoration  of  a  government  in  France  which 
could  protect  its  inhabitants  and  be  a  guarantee  of  peace 
in  Europe.  They  offered  their  services  on  condition 
that  Lafayette  and  others  should  be  set  at  liberty  by 
the  Powers  ;  and  induced  Mallet  du  Pan  and  Mounier 
to  transmit  their  proposals  to  Lord  Grenville,  which 
they  accordingly  did  through  the  British  minister  at 
Berne.  George  III.  in  a  note  to  Lord  Grenville 
observed  :  "  Lord  Robert  Fitzgerald  (the  minister) 
is  certainly  not  an  able  or  quick-sighted  man,  and 
the  two  French  gentlemen,  M.  Mounier  and  M.  du 
Pan,  are  men  of  superior  talents,  and  may  have  their 


own  private  views  to  effect  V  Mr.  Wickham,  there- 
fore, a  personal  friend  of  Lord  Grenville's,  was  sent 
out  to  inquire  into  the  matter.  Mallet's  son  relates 
what  followed  : — 

"Mr.  Wickham's  arrival  was  an  event.  To  us  it 
was  at  first  a  peculiarly  agreeable  circumstance ;  for 
his  wife  was  a  Genevese  lady  the  daughter  of  Professor 
Bertrand,  who  had  married  a  Mallet  and  whose  family 
was  well  known  to  us,  and  highly  respectable.  But 
although  Mr.  Wickham  was  always  courteous  and 
considerate  to  my  father,  the  good  understanding  and 
considerate  feeling  with  which  their  acquaintance 
began  soon  subsided.  Mr.  Wickham  discovered  or 
thought  he  discovered,  on  communicating  with  the 
individuals  whose  overtures  had  led  to  his  mission, 
that  there  was  little  or  no  foundation  for  the  expecta- 
tions held  out  by  them,  and  that  they  had  neither  party 
nor  friends  at  Paris  whom  it  might  be  an  object  to 
support.  This  may  have  been  all  true,  but  it  was 
probably  expressed  too  unreservedly.  Mounier,  who 
had  been  a  party  to  the  overtures  made  to  the  British 
Government,  and  whose  temper  was  quick,  was  offended 
with  Mr.  Wickham's  conclusions,  and  would  have  no- 
thing more  to  say  to  him." 

George  III.  was  very  angry  at  what  he  considered 
the  ''duplicity"  of  Mounier  and  Mallet  du  Pan,  and 
attributed  the  fiasco  not  to  imprudence  on  their  part 
but  to  "premeditated  falsehood".  He  ordered  that 
in  future  they  were  to  be  "  kept  out  of  any  business 
Mr.  Wickham  might  have  to  transact  ".2  Lord  Robert 
Fitzgerald  had  previously  reported  that  they  were 

1  Dropmore  Papers,  vol.  ii.,  p.  638. 

2  Note   to    Lord    Grenville,    4th    December    1794,    Dropmore 


now  undeceived  and  "not  a  little  ashamed  that 
two  such  great  men  should  have  been  so  grossly 
duped ! " 

"  My  father,"  continues  the  Reminiscences,  "  re- 
mained upon  friendly  terms ;  but  when  Mr.  Wickham 
replaced  Lord  Robert  Fitzgerald,  who  was  soon  re- 
called, circumstances  arose  which  could  hardly  fail 
to  disturb  the  good  harmony  between  them.  Lord 
R.  Fitzgerald's  diplomatic  functions  were  of  a  very 
quiet  character,  but  Mr.  Wickham's  influence  with 
Lord  Grenville,  his  activity  and  talents,  and  the 
ample  pecuniary  means  placed  at  his  disposal,  soon 
brought  him  plenty  of  business.  The  people  who  used 
to  come  to  my  father  for  his  opinions  now  came  to 
Mr.  Wickham  for  guineas.  Plots  were  got  up  in 
Franche  -  Comte^  and  other  parts  of  France  on  the 
credit  of  this  new  ally,  and  chiefly  by  determined  and 
uncompromising  Royalists,  who  would  have  nothing 
short  of  the  old  regime.  Differences  of  opinion,  there- 
fore, soon  arose  between  Mr.  Wickham  and  my  father, 
both  as  to  the  description  of  person  to  be  trusted  and 
the  end  proposed.  My  father  had  a  very  indifferent 
opinion  of  some  of  Mr.  Wickham's  agents,  considering 
them  as  some  of  the  worst  instruments  that  could  be 
employed  for  the  objects  he  had  in  view.  On  the 
other  hand,  Mr.  Wickham  thought  my  father  much 
too  favourable  to  the  Constitutionalists,  and  the  dupe 
of  their  ambitious  views.  Some  ill  humour  was  thus 
generated  on  both  sides,  without  altogether  interrupting 
their  intercourse.  Mr.  Wickham  went  on  his  own  way 
without  consulting  my  father,  whose  extensive  corre- 
spondence and  habits  of  communication  with  political 
men  were  not  unnaturally  a  cause  of  distrust  and  caution 
to  a  regular  diplomatist ;  and  my  father,  on  his  side, 
kept  to  his  old  path,  without  mixing  in  any  of  the 
counter-revolutionary  intrigues  afloat,  of  which  Berne 
then  became  the  headquarters." 


These  differences,  though  they  cut  him  off  from 
communication  with  the  British  Government  upon  which 
he  had  in  the  summer  of  1 793  greatly  relied  for  a  wise 
and  moderate  war  policy,  did  not  permanently  estrange 
Mallet  du  Pan  from  Wickham,  who  on  several  occa- 
sions in  later  years  used  his  influence  in  his  favour  and 
contributed  essentially  in  the  advancement  of  his  son 
after  his  death,  a  sincere  and  unusual  proof  of  friend- 

It  may  easily  be  conceived  that  Mallet  du  Pan's 
natural  aversion  to  intrigue  was  strengthened  by  this 
occurrence,  and  that  he  had  no  great  hopes  from 
similar  schemes,  such  as  that,  for  instance,  of  which 
Montgaillard  two  years  later  made  him  his  chief  con- 
fidant, to  bring  over  Pichegru  then  at  the  head  of  the 
army  of  the  Rhine  to  the  royalist  side  through  the 
Prince  de  Conde".  His  own  time  was  fully  occupied 
by  the  task  of  digesting  the  reports  he  continually 
received  from  France,  and  preparing  his  weekly 
budget  for  the  three  Courts.  But  he  maintained  at 
the  same  time  a  most  active  private  correspondence 
in  which  he  expressed  his  ideas  with  even  less  reserve 
than  in  his  diplomatic  despatches.  The  interchange 
of  letters  between  Mallet  du  Pan  and  a  large  circle 
of  friends  of  every  shade  of  anti- revolutionary  opin- 
ions formed  indeed  one  of  the  most  important  sources 
of  his  information,  and  now,  that  his  journalistic  work 
was  for  a  time  interrupted,  one  of  his  chief  means  of 
influencing  public  opinion. 

There  was  first  of  all  the  group  of  constitutional 
Monarchists  with  whom  Mallet  had  allied  himself, 
in  sympathy  though  not  in  hope,  during  the  first 
months  of  the  National  Assembly.  The  Comte  de 


Lally-Tollendal  was  already  known  for  his  devotion 
to  the  memory  of  his  father,  the  General  Lally  of 
Indian  renown,  executed  under  the  old  regime.  His 
eloquence  and  his  vigorous  championship  of  the  prin- 
ciples of  liberty  on  the  English  pattern  brought  him 
early  into  prominence  in  the  National  Assembly,  and 
early  drove  him  from  it  into  exile.  He  was  a  man 
of  high  and  honourable  character,  and  master  of  a 
literary  style,  forcible  and  rhetorical,  which  might  per- 
haps have  won  him  a  free  election  to  the  seat  in  the 
Academy  presented  to  him  by  Louis  XVIII.  at  the 
Restoration.  There  was,  however,  an  element  of  Irish 
exuberance  in  his  character  which  made  Lally  a  some- 
what burlesque  figure.  Rivarol  described  him  as  '  le 
plus  gras  des  hommes  sensibles ' ;  a  man  '  a  ddmonstra- 
tions,  &  grands  sentiments,  a  embrassades'  says  Sainte- 
Beuve.  Lord  Sheffield's  lively  daughter  gives  us  some 
very  entertaining  glimpses J  of  Lally-Tollendal,  with  his 
alternations  of  high  and  low  spirits,  his  declamation 
of  Voltaire's  plays  and  his  own  compositions,  his  flow 
of  amusing  talk,  his  dancing  with  the  "greatest  good 
humour  to  the  music  of  a  Fletching  fiddler,"  and  his 
dark  allusions  to  the  pond  in  the  park  coupled  with 
meaning  questions  about  Lord  Clive's  end.  "  The 
maids  who  sleep  over  his  room  say  he  walks  about  the 
greatest  part  of  the  night  and  groans  and  stamps  and 

1  See  Girlhood  of  Maria  Josepha  (afterwards  Lady  Stanley  of 
Alderley),  by  her  granddaughter,  Miss  Adeane.  She  describes  her 
first  impressions  of  Lally-Tollendal  and  Mounier  at  Lausanne  as 
follows  :  "  If  I  had  not  heard  the  one  speak  and  heard  of  the  other  I 
should  have  set  them  both  down  as  very  stupid  men.  .  .  .  Lally  has 
a  very  heavy  countenance  till  it  is  animated  by  conversation ;  and 
Mounier  looks  insignificant." 


sighs  most  horribly."  She  tells  of  his  somewhat  too 
tardy  marriage  with  a  Scotch  lady,  of  his  liaison  with 
Princesse  d'Henin,  of  his  claim  as  the  grandson  of  an 
Irishman  to  British  nationality,  his  application  for  an 
Irish  peerage,  and  his  success  at  length  in  obtaining  a 
pension  of  ^300.  He  seems  to  have  become  some- 
what ashamed  of  his  precipitate  flight  from  Paris  in 
October  1789,  and  redeemed  it  by  his  courageous  re- 
turn in  1791  when  he  exerted  himself  with  Lafayette 
in  the  interests  of  the  royal  house,  witnessing  the 
events  of  the  summer  of  1792,  and  only  escaping  from 
prison  on  the  eve  of  the  September  massacres  by  the 
help  of  a  friendly  door-keeper  of  the  National  Assembly. 

"  He  employed  himself  the  first  two  days  of  his  im- 
prisonment by  preparing  a  defence  of  Montmorin,  and 
proved  his  innocence  so  clearly  that  he  was  acquitted 
and  released,  but  the  aimables  sans-culottes  interfered 
and  insisted  on  a  new  trial,  in  consequence  of  which  he 
was  sent  back  to  the  Abbaye  where  he  met  his  unfor- 
tunate end.  The  last  three  days  Lally  made  his  own 
speech  for  the  scaffold  and  intended  to  hold  very  high 
language  and  to  let  them  hear  a  little  truth.  I  have 
sometimes  doubted  whether  he  was  not  disappointed  at 
losing  the  opportunity  of  delivering  his  harangue." 

With  all  his  foibles,  however,  he  was  a  warm  and 
generous  friend  and  admirer  of  Mallet  du  Pan,  who 
died  in  his  house.  He  returned  in  1801  to  France, 
and  lived  in  retirement  near  Bordeaux,  and  on  the 
Restoration  he  was  created  a  peer  of  France,  and  played 
a  consistent  and  honourable  part  in  defence  of  his  life- 
long opinions  in  the  Chamber,  dying  a  few  months 
before  the  Revolution  of  1830. 

1  Girlhood  of  Maria  Josepha,  p.  192. 


Mounier,  with  whom  Mallet  du  Pan  became  intimate 
at  Lausanne  and  at  Berne,  and  for  whose  character 
and  ability  he  expresses  the  highest  esteem,  is  a 
less  inspiring  figure.  Madame  de  Stael  called  him 
"  passionately  reasonable  ".  By  the  irony  of  fate  he 
is  famous  in  history  as  the  proposer  of  the  oath  of  the 
Tennis  Court,  an  act  of  which  he  heartily  repented. 
His  real  title  to  remembrance  is  his  knowledge  of 
constitutional  theory,  and  his  attempt  to  apply  that 
knowledge  in  the  first  months  of  the  National  Assembly 
of  which  he  was  President  during  the  days  of  October. 
At  Geneva ;  in  England,  where  he  was  glad  to  accept 
a  travelling  tutorship  to  Lord  Hawke's  son ;  at  Berne, 
where  he  returned  with  his  pupil ;  and,  finally,  in  the 
territories  of  the  Duke  of  Brunswick,  where  he  set  up 
an  academy  for  young  men,  he  gained  fresh  distinction 
by  his  political  writings,  and  perhaps  lost  some  of  the 
pedantic  narrowness  which  unfitted  him  for  leadership. 
He  returned  at  all  events  to  France  in  1801  where  he 
died  five  years  later,  and  where  he  honourably  main- 
tained his  opinions  and  his  independence,  though  he 
served  the  Emperor  as  prefect  of  the  department  at 
Ile-et-Vilaine  and  afterwards  as  a  Counsellor  of  State. 
He  died  in  1805,  and  his  son,  Baron  Mounier,  played 
a  creditable  part  under  the  Restoration. 

Above  either  of  these  in  Mallet  du  Pan's  regard 
was  Malouet,  by  whose  side  he  had  stood  through  the 
first  three  years  of  the  Revolution.  After  his  return 
to  France  in  1801  from  England,  which  had  been  his 
home  since  his  almost  miraculous  escape  from  Paris 
after  the  September  massacres,  Bonaparte  was  glad 
to  make  use  of  his  remarkable  administrative  capacity 
and  experience  as  Maritime  Prefect  at  Antwerp,  and 


he  lived  just  long  enough  to  become  Minister  of  Marine 
and  a  member  of  the  Chamber  of  Peers  under  Louis 
XVIII.  He  will  ever  remain  known  for  his  loyal 
devotion  to  the  King  and  Queen:  ' N^oubliez jamais 
son  nom,'  was  Marie  Antoinette's  injunction  to  the 
Dauphin.  But  he  is  equally  with  Mallet  du  Pan  the 
most  prominent  and  sagacious  of  the  liberal  Monarch- 
ists ;  together  with  his  friend  he  united  moderation  of 
opinions  with  courage  and  consistency  in  expressing 
and  maintaining  them,  and  his  memoirs  give  by  far 
the  best  account  of  the  policy  and  action  of  the  early 
Constitutionalists  in  the  National  Assembly.  But  while 
Mallet's  hostility  to  revolutionary  principles  grew  with 
his  knowledge  of  them,  and  his  criticisms  became  more 
profound  and  valuable  as  he  realised  the  European 
character  of  the  convulsion,  Malouet,  at  a  distance  from 
the  scene  of  events  and  cut  off  as  he  was  in  England 
from  all  the  sources  of  knowledge  open  to  his  friend, 
yielded  to  the  influences  which  surrounded  him  and 
to  his  natural  longing  to  return  to  his  own  country, 
and  became  increasingly  inclined  to  what  Mallet  thought 
hazy  and  impossible  ideas  of  compromise.  The  circum- 
stances and  character  of  the  two  men  in  fact  influenced 
them  in  a  different  direction  without  destroying  their  real 
agreement  or  their  personal  friendship,  and  Malouet's 
letters  during  their  differences  in  1797  remained  models 
of  temperate  reasoning.  Mallet's  son  has  left  the  fol- 
lowing picture  of  this  interesting  and  attractive  figure : — 

"  Malouet  was,  to  the  time  of  my  father's  death 
and  his  own  subsequent  return  to  France,  our  best  and 
dearest  friend  ;  a  man  who  possessed  every  virtue  which 
can  distinguish  a  public  man  and  form  an  estimable 
and  useful  citizen  ;  enlightened,  moderate,  firm,  labori- 


ous,  eloquent,  with  a  strong  sense  of  public  duty, 
eminently  disinterested  ;  of  an  undaunted  courage,  and 
yet  in  the  greatest  degree  tender  and  amiable  in  the 
private  relations  of  life ;  delightful  in  conversation  by 
his  simplicity,  playfulness,  and  indulgence ;  wholly 
free  from  any  affectation  of  superiority ;  and  yet,  as 
observes  Montlosier,  with  a  mind  and  manner  the  most 
commanding  and  dignified.  Such  was  the  man,  whose 
friendship  and  regard  I  shall  ever  be  proud  of."  x 

The  most  original  of  the  moderates  and  always  one 
of  Mallet  du  Pan's  warmest  friends,  was  the  Auvergnat 
noble,  the  Comte  de  Montlosier,  whose  beginnings  in  the 
National  Assembly  have  already  been  noticed.  He  was 
Mallet's  most  vehement  and  not  too  discreet  supporter 
in  his  campaign  against  the  spirit  of  the  emigration. 

"On  his  emigrating  from  France  in  April  1792 
he  found  on  his  arrival  at  Coblentz  that  the  pure 
Royalists  considered  him  as  a  contaminated  person, 
who  had  transige  with  the  Revolution  ;  and  being  cut 
by  one  of  these  dnergumenes,  M.  Dambray,  he  fought 
and  wounded  him,  after  which  he  met  with  no  further 
molestation.  I  never  knew  any  man  more  free  from 
littleness  of  character  and  selfish  views.  He  was  a 
self-educated  man  ;  a  considerable  geologist  for  his 
time  ;  and  possessed  of  some  knowledge  in  various 
branches  of  history  and  philosophy  ;  but  he  was  too 
ambitious  of  literary  distinction,  and  his  style  was  often 
involved  and  obscure.  He  was  also  too  much  given 
to  systems — systems  of  Government,  systems  of  morals, 
social  systems  ;  but  he  nevertheless  possessed  what 
appears  quite  inconsistent  with  such  a  turn  of  mind — 
great  vigour  of  purpose  ;  and  he  seems  by  some  late 
proceedings  at  Paris  to  be  as  firm  a  friend  to  constitu- 
tional freedom  and  religious  tolerance  as  he  was  fifty 

years  ago." 2 

1  Reminiscences.  2  Ibid. 


Mallet  du  Pan's  friendships  were  not  confined  to- 
those  who  held  his  exact  shade  of  political  opinions, 
for  he  was  as  far  as  possible  from  being  a  doctrinaire 
in  politics.  The  development  of  the  Revolution  into 
a  European  event  brought  him  as  we  have  seen  into 
political  partnership,  not  only  with  continental  states- 
men, but  with  Frenchmen  of  various  parties  and 
especially  with  many  of  the  pure  Royalists,  such  as  the 
Prince  de  Poix,  the  Marshal  de  Castries  and  the  Comte 
de  Sainte-Aldegonde,  men  who  though  emigres  in  fact 
were  as  far  as  himself  from  sharing  the  incurable  pre- 
judices of  their  class.  With  such  men  as  these  he  found 
himself  as  time  went  on  more  in  sympathy,  the  sympathy 
born  of  active  co-operation,  than  with  the  older  friends. 
With  De  Castries  and  Sainte-Aldegonde,  at  all  events, 
he  maintained  a  voluminous  correspondence,  and  with 
the  latter  he  formed  a  most  cordial  friendship.  Sainte- 
Aldegonde  was  of  a  great  Netherlands  family1  and 

1  "  Je  n'oublierai  jamais  les  manures  nobles,  jolies  et  cependant 
parfaitement  simples  du  grand  seigneur  Fran9ais.  Mon  pere  avait 
pour  M.  de  Sainte-Aldegonde  une  confiance  et  une  amitie'  qui  ne  se 
de'mentirent  jamais,  et  ce  dernier  sentit  la  mort  de  mon  pere  comme 
il  aurait  senti  celle  d'un  frere"  (note  by  J.  L.  Mallet).  The  topsy- 
turveydom  of  Revolution  is  well  illustrated  by  the  fact  that  at  the 
time  of  his  death  Mallet  was  assisting  Sainte-Aldegonde  with  a  payment 
of  ^25  a  year  which  he  had  hastened  to  offer  as  soon  as  the  Mercure 
Britannique  had  been  successfully  launched.  The  offer  and  its  accept- 
ance does  honour  to  both  men.  Sainte-Aldegonde's  royal  master  was 
little  better  off.  During  the  Quiberon  expedition,  the  Comte  d'Artois 
could  not  set  foot  in  England  for  fear  of  arrest  for  debt,  and  there 
is  a  curious  letter  from  Lord  Buckingham  to  his  brother  Lord  Gren- 
ville  (4th  Sept.  1797),  in  which  he  says  :  "  In  the  meantime  do  not  let 
the  Comte  d'Artois  starve,  which  is  pretty  near  his  actual  situation. 
.  .  .  The  only  sure  and  clear  result  of  all  these  conferences  is  that 
Monsieur  has  not  one  farthing,  and  having  received  only  ^1,000  for 


had  before  the  Revolution  become  attached  to  the 
Comte  d'Artois,  probably  through  his  marriage  with  the 
daughter  of  the  Duchesse  de  Tourzel,  Gouvernante  des 
Enfans  de  France,  who  first  introduced  him  to  Mallet 
du  Pan.  Their  meeting  at  SchafThausen  cemented  a 
friendship  which  ended  only  with  Mallet's  death.  Sainte- 
Aldegonde  was  placed  in  the  Chamber  of  Peers  at  the 
Restoration.  Marshal  de  Castries  had  won  distinction 
in  the  pre- Revolutionary  wars,  and  had  been  Minister 
of  Marine  to  Louis  XVI.  in  1780.  His  son's  duel  with 
Charles  de  Lameth  and  the  consequent  sack  of  his  hotel, 
one  of  the  first  acts  of  violence  of  the  Parisian  mob, 
had  drawn  from  Mallet  a  vigorous  denunciation  of  the 
growing  spirit  of  anarchy.  "The  Marshal,"  wrote  his 
friend  after  his  death,  "supported  with  no  less  dignity 
than  resignation  the  trials  of  adversity.  Never  either 
in  his  sentiments,  his  conduct,  or  his  counsels  did  he 
lose  sight  of  the  prudence  acquired  in  difficult  times, 
of  the  moderation  which  marks  a  man  in  whom  reason 
is  superior  to  resentment,  of  the  conciliatory  spirit 
without  which  an  unfortunate  cause  becomes  a  hope- 
less one."  His  high  character  and  great  services  gave 
him  an  influential  position  at  the  emigre  court,  and  the 
Duke  of  Brunswick,  whom  he  had  defeated  at  Closter- 
camp,  now  chivalrously  welcomed  him  at  Wolfenbiittel 
and  raised  a  monument  there  to  his  memory  on  his 
death  in  1801.  Through  both  of  these  Mallet  was 
constantly  able  to  give  information  and  advice  to  the 
Princes  of  a  kind  which  they  were  not  in  the  habit  of 
receiving  from  other  sources.  He  also,  through  the 
group  of  friends  assembled  at  the  court  of  the  Duke 

the  last  three  months  is  not  very  likely  to  get  fat "  (Droptnore  Papers, 
Tol.  iii.,  p.  368). 


of  Brunswick,  communicated  his  views  to  the  Duke, 
upon  whom  he  once  said  the  dictatorship  of  Europe 
ought  to  be  conferred.  The  Chevalier  de  Gallatin, 
Mallet's  recommendation  of  whom  to  the  Duke  ob- 
tained for  him  a  nomination  to  his  Council  and  important 
diplomatic  employment  in  later  years,  was  one  of  these. 
On  a  somewhat  different  level  from  most  of  the  above 
stands  another  of  Mallet's  most  constant  and  brilliant 
correspondents,  the  Abbe"  de  Pradt,  whose  remarkable 
pamphlet,  L?  Antidote  au  Congres  de  Rastadt,  was  even 
attributed  to  Joseph  de  Maistre.  He  was  one  of  those 
who  grew  tired  of  exile  when  Bonaparte  restored  order 
to  France,  and  as  Bishop  of  Poictiers  and  afterwards 
Archbishop  of  Malines,  Baron  and  Grand  Cross  of 
the  Legion  of  Honour,  confidant  of  Napoleon  and  his 
ambassador  at  Warsaw  in  1812,  and  finally  as  pensioner 
of  Louis  XVIII.,  he  was  permitted  to  gratify  to  the 
full  the  cravings  of  personal  ambition. 

The  names  of  Necker,  De  Panat,  De  Sales,  De 
Maistre  and  Portalis  close  the  list  of  the  best  known 
of  Mallet  du  Pan's  correspondents,  but  he  maintained 
also  a  private  correspondence  with  many  of  the  public 
men  mentioned  in  the  preceding  pages. 







THE  period  embraced  by  the  Vienna  correspondence, 
of  which  some  further  account  must  now  be  given,  is 
perhaps  the  dreariest  and  least  known  of  the  revolu- 
tionary epoch.  Not  a  man  concerned  in  administration 
or  in  the  active  work  of  politics  stands  forth  from  the 
picture,  not  an  act  either  of  destruction  or  of  reorgani- 
sation has  left  any  permanent  trace.  The  annals  of 
the  Directory  would  be  the  meanest  passage  in  French 
history  if  they  had  not  been  relieved  by  the  military 
triumphs  of  the  man  who  was  to  destroy  it.  The 
long-drawn  analysis  of  these  barren  years  would  indeed 
become  wearisome  from  the  uniform  baseness  of  men 
and  events,  were  it  not  for  the  answer  which  it  supplies 
to  the  question  how  it  was  that  a  Government  so 
detestable  and  so  detested,  in  administration  so  weak, 
yet  so  tyrannical  in  the  exercise  of  power,  was  able  not 
only  to  stand  for  four  years,  but  to  carry  on  with 
success  and  glory  a  war  against  allied  Europe.  The 
character  of  the  whole  period  is  one  of  internal  conflict. 
The  Government  welcomed  after  Thermidor  as  the 
liberators  of  France  from  the  tyranny  of  the  Reign  of 


Terror  had  lost  its  character  of  strength  and  con- 
sistency at  the  same  time  as  it  threw  off  the  yoke  of  a 
savage  dictatorship.  The  detestation  of  the  people 
for  the  men  whom  Mallet  described  as  the  'valets 
qui  ont  pris  le  sceptre  de  leurs  maitres  apres  les  avoir 
assassints '  was  brought  to  a  head  by  their  inability, 
associated  as  they  were  in  all  the  crimes  of  their  pre- 
decessors, to  satisfy  the  popular  demand  for  "  peace 
and  bread,"  a  demand  which  in  the  streets,  in  the 
theatres,  and  in  the  cafes,  with  threats  and  with  curses, 
with  satire  and  with  jest,  was  everywhere  repeated  with 
growing  intensity.  The  Directory  which  succeeded  to 
this  period  of  anarchy  no  less  faithfully  adhered  to 
revolutionary  methods  and  was  no  less  in  opposition 
to  the  wishes  of  the  mass  of  the  nation,  but  as  the 
champions  of  France  against  the  arms  of  Europe  they 
found  in  war  their  strength  and  safety. 

The  abortive  rising  of  the  sections  ensured  the 
defeat  of  the  Directors  proposed  by  the  newly  elected 
third  of  the  councils,  moderate,  distinguished  and 
capable  men ;  and  enthroned  the  five  regicides  La 
Reveillere-Lepaux,  Rewbell,  Le  Tourneur,  Barras  and 
Sieves,  the  last  of  whom  characteristically  declined  a 
place  in  the  system  he  had  elaborated  and  was  re- 
placed by  Carnot.  Mallet  drew  the  most  unflattering 
portraits  of  the  new  rulers  of  France.  '  Ce  pauvre 
petit  philosophailleur '  La  Reveillere,  the  high  priest 
of  a  new  religion,1  the  acolyte  of  Robespierre,  Petion 

1  Talleyrand's  well-known  mot  is  perhaps  worth  repeating.  La 
Reveillere-Lepaux  had  recommended  to  the  Institut  a  religious  cele- 
bration of  the  three  great  acts  of  life — birth,  marriage  and  death.  "  I 
have  only  one  observation  to  make,"  said  Talleyrand,  "  Je"sus-Christ 
pour  fonder  sa  religion  a  6t6  cruciSe*  et  est  ressuscite*.  Vous  auriez 
du  tacher  d'en  faire  autant." 


and  Buzot ;  and  Rewbell,  able,  artful,  experienced,  of 
whom  Camille  Desmoulins  had  once  said  that  his 
countenance  was  a  study  of  nature  intended  to  portray 
envy,  hatred  and  malice,  and  whom  Bonaparte  after- 
wards detested  but  employed,  were  both  drawn  from 
the  benches  of  the  Extreme  Left,  which  Mirabeau 
had  once  silenced  with  the  words,  '  Faites  taire  cette 
canaille'.  Carnot,fort  et  fin,  one  of  the  heroes  of  the 
revolutionary  legend,  is  described  as  engrossed  in  his 
special  functions  the  direction  of  military  operations, 
mixing  little  in  intrigues  of  party,  and  willing  to  serve 
all  in  succession  as  he  had  shown  in  making  himself 
the  accomplice  of  the  enormities  of  the  Terror.  "  You 
cannot  be  wrong  if  you  do  the  will  of  the  people," 
was  his  political  motto.  Le  Tourneur  was  a  captain 
of  engineers,  Carnot's  intimate  friend,  and,  like  him, 
always  clinging  to  the  dominant  faction,  *  travailleur 
et  paperassier\  At  the  head  stood  Barras,  the  patron 
of  Bonaparte  :  Barras,  '  qui  joue  le  roi  et  le  Genghis 
Khanj  not  unmindful  of  his  birth  and  having  much 
at  heart  to  be  considered  and  treated  as  a  person 
of  quality,  a  man  of  limited  ability,  without  morality, 
honour  or  education,  "having  the  tone  and  courage 
of  a  soldier,  and  bearing  himself  in  politics  with  the 
same  audacity  as  in  his  debauchery". 

The  constitution  over  which  these  men  presided 
would  have  been  unworkable  in  any  hands.  It  was 
largely  inspired  by  the  lesson  of  previous  failures.  The 
constitution  of  1791  had  erred  as  greatly  in  the  dis- 
astrous preponderance  it  conferred  upon  the  legislative 
functions  of  the  State  as  the  Conventional  constitu- 
tion, which  followed  it,  did  in  the  tyranny  it  permitted 
to  the  executive  in  the  supremacy  of  the  Committees. 

CONSTITUTION  OF  1795  225 

The  constitution  of  1795,  of  which  no  better  criticism 
exists  than  that  passed  on  it  by  Necker  in  the  work  he 
published  on  the  Revolution  in  the  following  year, 
aimed  accordingly  at  dividing  the  body  politic  into 
three  separate  and  independent  parts,  none  of  which 
should  be  supreme.  It  was  an  expedient  favoured 
by  the  example  of  the  framers  of  the  American  con- 
stitution. The  Council  of  the  Jeunes  Gens  was  to 
supply  the  imagination  which  conceived  legislation, 
the  Council  of  the  Anciens  the  wisdom  which  weighed 
and  revised  it,  and  the  Directory,  with  the  ministers 
subordinate  to  them,  the  whole  executive  power  of 
the  Government ;  while  the  only  connection  between 
the  legislature  and  the  executive  was  through  the 
machinery  of  exhortative  addresses  on  the  one  side 
and  ordinary  and  extraordinary  envoys  on  the  other. 
Such  a  separation  of  powers,  if  each  was  to  remain 
a  reality,  was  a  caricature  of  constitutional  theory. 
In  the  hands  of  honest  rulers  it  must  have  produced 
confusion  and  deadlock,  in  those  of  the  Directors  it 
was  simply,  as  Mallet  du  Pan  expressed  it,  '  le  moyen 
cfa  liter  avec  les  formes  de  la  liber te  la  ne'cessite,  la 
combinaison  et  la  force  du  despotisme '.  It  ensured  the 
failure  of  republican  government,  and  led  after  two 
coups  d ' £tat  to  a  military  dictatorship.  That  it  lasted 
so  long  as  four  years  was  due  to  the  apathetic  attitude 
of  the  mass  of  the  people. 

The  cannon  of  Vendemiaire,  which  established 
the  Directory  and  crushed  the  Jeunesse,  taught  a 
lesson  which  for  thirty  years  prevented  any  attempt 
at  popular  rising  in  the  streets  of  Paris.  Five  years 
of  baffled  hopes  of  the  restoration  of  order  had 
produced  a  lasting  impression  upon  the  people  ;  hence- 



forth,  when  their  will  was  being  overruled  by  the 
Directory,  when  streets,  bridges,  and  squares  were 
bristling  with  troops  and  cannon,  they  went  about 
their  business  or  their  pleasure  with  the  same  care- 
lessness with  which  the  "  Greeks  of  Constantinople 
in  the  last  centuries  of  the  Empire  had  seen  every 
six  months  the  dethronement  or  assassination  of  an 
emperor ". l  The  Directory  entered  upon  their  rule 
with  the  immense  advantage  of  a  people  to  govern 
who  placed  their  safety  in  a  total  abnegation  of 
political  sentiment,  in  so  far  as  their  opinion  might 
commit  them  to  any  line  of  action  ;  and  the  30,000 
troops  encamped  at  the  gates  of  Paris  were  necessary 
only  to  protect  them  against  their  own  extreme 
partisans.  Among  the  people  alone  were  heard  the 
curses,  threats  and  epigrams  against  the  Government 
with  which  Paris  continued  to  resound.  The  well- 
to-do  classes  preferred  to  cringe  to  their  tyrants,  and 
indulge  in  the  stupid  and  selfish  optimism  of  the  Con- 
stitutionalists of  1792.  Observers  have  familiarised 
us  with  the  picture  of  the  manners  of  the  Directory, 
and  many  passages  in  this  correspondence  bring  out 
with  new  details  and  new  illustrations  the  union  of 
luxury  and  privation  characteristic  of  the  time.  Appal- 
ling accounts  are  given  in  the  Correspondence  of  the 
licence  and  depravity  in  which  the  inhabitants  of  Paris 
sought  compensation  for  their  calamities.  It  was  a 
state  of  things  which  was  not  confined  to  the  capital. 
In  Lyons — 

"  which  is  without  bread  or  wood,  where  men  live 
on  rations  of  rice  and  burn  their  beds  to  warm  them- 

1 "  The  people  of  France,"  wrote  De  Maistre,  "  will  always  accept 
their  masters,  never  choose  them  "  (Considerations  sur  la  France). 


selves,  where  the  pavement  is  still  red  with  the  blood 
of  7,000  citizens  of  every  rank  massacred  and  shot 
down  last  year  (1794),  there  are  two  theatres  and 
several  public  halls  open  and  always  full,  and  a  brazen 
luxury  flaunts  in  the  spoils  of  its  victims.  The  Revolu- 
tion has  completed  the  extinction  of  the  moral  sense. 
Ties  of  relationship  are  weakened,  the  most  atrocious 
egotism  reigns  in  all  hearts,  honour  and  sentiment,  duty 
and  self-respect  are  no  longer  to  be  found." 

The  agricultural  population  was  the  one  class  which 
had  gained  in  material  prosperity.  These  advantages 
they  were  determined  to  maintain  ;  the  regime  of  tithe 
and  gabelle,  of  parlements  and  intendants,  was  gone 
for  ever,  but  the  departments  were  ill-disposed  to 
a  Government  which  either  neglected  the  duties  of 
administration  or  harassed  them  with  requisitions  in 
men,  money  and  kind,  which  persecuted  the  religion 
to  which  they  still  clung,  and  endeavoured  to  replace 
by  republican  usages  the  thousand  social  institutions 
of  which  the  Church  was  the  centre.  Conservatism 
and  dread  of  change  were  then,  as  now,  the  leading 
characteristics  of  the  French  peasantry,  and  it  was 
even  truer  of  them  than  of  the  Parisians,  "that  they 
would  only  turn  upon  the  executioner  when  his  axe 
was  at  their  neck".  "No  revolution  will  ever  begin 
with  the  people,"  is  the  profound  reflection  suggested 
to  Mallet  by  the  spectacle  he  witnessed ;  it  is  a  re- 
flection justified  by  the  subsequent  history  of  France, 
as  well  as  by  that  of  other  countries.  Princes  and 
governments  have  often  played  for  the  lives  and 
fortunes  of  their  subjects ;  never  before  had  the 
spectacle  been  afforded  of  a  great  nation  accepting 
its  position  as  the  stake  in  the  game  of  party  strife. 


It  was  a  spectacle  which  might  have  aroused  the 
scorn  even  of  a  Frenchman,  and  may  perhaps  excuse 
the  passion  with  which  Mallet,  a  foreigner,  describes  a 

"at  once  cruel  and  frivolous,  servile  and  licentious, 
impetuous  at  one  moment  in  its  complaints,  and  forget- 
ting them  without  motive  in  the  next,  careless  in 
suffering  as  in  prosperity,  incapable  of  foresight  or  of 
reflection,  selling  in  the  morning  like  savages  the  bed 
on  which  they  are  to  lie  at  night ;  such  in  every  age 
has  been  the  character  of  the  people,  such  are  they  at 
the  present  hour,  and  such  they  will  ever  remain  until 
the  end  of  time."  l 

( Les  brigandages  du  Directoire  sont  des  coups  de 
poignard  donnes  a  un  cadavre?  A  double  criticism 
is  contained  in  these  words,  and  the  character  of  the 
Government  is  treated  in  the  same  detail  as  that  of 
the  demoralised  nation  which  so  long  supported  its 
rule.  For  the  Directory  soon  showed  itself  to  be  a 
mere  continuation  of  the  revolutionary  regime,  and 
maintained  its  power  by  availing  itself  of  the  division 
of  opinion  in  the  country,  and  by  holding  the  balance 
between  disorganised  factions.  Dreaded  by  all,  the 
new  rulers  of  France  feared  every  party,  and,  relying 
in  the  last  resort  upon  the  Jacobins,  they  were 
nervously  sensitive  to  the  secret  disaffection  of  the 
majority  whose  opposition  they  had  been  obliged 
to  crush  before  they  could  establish  their  authority. 
Their. policy  thus  continually  betrayed  a  character  of 
vacillation.  After  the  coup  d'Etat  of  Vendemiaire, 
they  threw  themselves  upon  the  party  by  whose  aid 
they  had  triumphed,  and  the  rule  of  Terror  started 

1  Correspondence  for  Vienna,  vol.  i.,  p.  186. 


again  into  activity,  until  the  socialist  conspiracy  of 
Babceuf  forced  them  to  appeal  to  the  support  of  the 
moderate  parties  by  turning  out  the  Jacobins  from 
the  places  they  had  given  them.  Obliged  to  follow 
rather  than  direct  the  oscillations  of  public  opinion, 
they  alternately  punished  and  caressed  their  extreme 
supporters,  or  struck  at  both  parties  by  closing  at 
the  same  time  the  anti-revolutionary  cafes  and  the 
Jacobin  club  of  the  Pantheon,  or  by  proposing 
an  amnesty  both  for  the  members  of  the  rebel  sec- 
tions and  for  the  authors  of  the  September  massacres. 
The  Directory,  the  ministers,  and  the  Councils  were 
divided  amongst  themselves,  and  the  constitution, 
which  had  drawn  a  hard  and  fast  line  between  the 
executive  and  the  legislature,  provided  no  means  by 
which  a  deadlock  between  the  functions  of  govern- 
ment could  be  avoided  or  overcome.  "  The  Directory 
cannot  govern  the  Assemblies,  it  must  therefore  obey 
them,  conspire,  or  perish."  The  Councils,  becoming 
at  every  election  more  moderate  and  anti-revolu- 
tionary, found  themselves  in  two  years  in  complete 
opposition  to  the  Directory,  and  in  the  struggle  of 
Fructidor  1797  in  which  the  people  stood  neutral 
the  executive,  in  command  of  the  whole  material  power 
of  the  State,  was  able  once  more  to  override  the  feeling 
of  the  nation  expressed  in  their  elected  Assemblies. 
Legislation,  meanwhile,  had  been  paralysed  by  this 
growing  hostility  and  by  the  changing  character  of 
the  councils.  The  number  of  laws  made  from  the 
beginning  of  the  Republic  has  been  computed  at  22,271, 
the  majority  of  which  it  was  impossible  from  their 
contradictory  nature  to  execute.  The  instability  of  the 
laws  destroyed  all  confidence  ;  "  they  were  received 


like  tempests,  accepted  with  indifference,  and  forgotten 
as  soon  as  made  ;  "  and  the  Government  superintended 
the  execution  of  those  only  which  aided  them  in  the 
work  of  spoliation,  or  secured  the  ends  of  their  party. 
Administration,  indeed,  had  ceased  to  exist  in  the 
country ;  the  ministers  and  higher  officials,  grossly 
ignorant  of  the  laws  they  had  to  administer  and  of  the 
wants  of  the  people,  were  more  occupied  with  the 
management  of  their  army  of  constantly  changing 
employees  than  with  the  duties  proper  to  responsible 
government.  Corruption  was  carried  to  its  greatest 
excess  by  officials  whose  miserably  inadequate  pay  was 
often  two  years  in  arrear,  and  such  agents,  naturally 
unable  to  exercise  any  real  control,  were  universally 
ignored  or  disobeyed.  Many  provinces — the  Vivarais, 
Cevennes,  Rouergue,  Haute- Auvergne,  and  Bas-Lan- 
guedoc — were  practically  in  a  state  of  independence. 
The  western  departments  were  in  open  rebellion,  and 
in  all  brigandage  partaking  of  the  nature  of  the 
chouannerie  was  rife.  '//  riy  a  aucune  police  dans 
toute  tetendue  de  la  France,'  and  Paris,  garrisoned  by 
the  troops  of  the  Directory,  alone  afforded  a  semblance 
of  government.  The  picture  would  seem  overcharged 
had  we  not  the  avowal  of  the  Directory  themselves 
made  to  the  Council  of  the  Five  Hundred  in  December 
1796  :- 

"  Every  part  of  the  administration  is  in  decay, 
the  pay  of  the  troops  is  in  arrear,  the  defenders  of  the 
country  are  in  rags,  and  their  disgust  causes  them  to 
desert  ;  the  military  and  civil  hospitals  are  destitute  of 
all  medical  appliances,  the  State  creditors  and  con- 
tractors can  recover  but  small  portions  of  the  sums  due 
to  them,  the  high  roads  are  destroyed  and  communi- 


cations  interrupted,  the  public  officials  are  without 
salaries  from  one  end  of  the  Republic  to  the  other  ; 
everywhere  sedition  is  rife,  assassination  organised,  and 
the  police  impotent ". 

Such  was  the  official  account  of  the  chaos  into 
which  administration  had  fallen.  But  for  the  purpose 
of  maintaining  its  ascendency  and  devoting  the  re- 
sources of  the  country  to  the  revolutionary  propaganda, 
the  system  of  the  Directory  with  its  restless  energy,  its 
active  and  powerful  will,  supplied  all  mere  deficiencies 
of  administrative  order.  The  very  freedom  from  the 
ordinary  restraints  of  morality  and  prudence  was  the 
great  secret  of  its  power.  Burke  insists  upon  the— 

"dreadful  energy  of  a  State  in  which  property  has 
nothing  to  do  with  the  government.  The  design  is 
wicked,  impious,  aggressive,  but  it  is  spirited,  it  is  daring, 
it  is  systematic.  ...  In  that  country  entirely  to  cut  off 
a  branch  of  commerce,  to  extinguish  a  manufacture,  to 
destroy  the  circulation  of  money,  to  violate  credit,  to 
suspend  the  course  of  agriculture,  even  to  burn  a  city 
or  lay  waste  a  province  of  their  own,  does  not  cost 
them  a  moment's  anxiety.  To  them  the  will,  the  wish, 
the  want,  the  liberty,  the  toil,  the  blood  of  individuals 
is  as  nothing." 

The  record  of  the  financial  operations  of  the 
Directory  amply  justifies  Burke's  description.  The 
issue  of  paper  money  was  a  resource  which  the  Terror 
and  the  Convention  had  almost  exhausted,  and  the 
country  was  experiencing  the  inevitable  consequences 
of  the  abuse  of  an  inconvertible  currency.1  By  the 

1  Mallet  du  Pan  never  encouraged  the  idea  cherished  by 
D'lvernois,  Lord  Auckland  and  even  by  Malouet,  that  the  financial 
exhaustion  of  France  would  help  the  allies.  "Those  who  in 


time  the  Directory  came  into  office,  assignats  had  been 
issued  to  the  amount  of  20,000,000,000  francs,  and 
loo  francs  in  assignats  was  worth  one  and  a  half  in 
coin.  In  two  months  the  daily  issue  had  risen  from 
100,000,000  to  600,000,000,  and  the  total  had  increased 
to  40,000,000,000,  while  the  value  had  fallen  to  \  per 
cent.  The  Government  plunged  into  a  vortex  of  frantic 
speculation,  and  anything  like  an  accurate  record  of  its 
fabulous  indebtedness  soon  became  impossible.  Since 
1792  the  Government  had  ceased  to  number  the  notes ; 
each  minister  coined  money  to  supply  his  public  and 
private  necessities  ;  the  country  was  flooded  with  false 
assignats  which  it  was  impossible  to  distinguish  from 
the  real  ones,  and  no  kind  of  proportion  had  been  kept 
between  the  alleged  security  and  the  gigantic  super- 
structure of  credit  which  had  risen  upon  it.  The 
official  estimates  give  a  pitiable  idea  of  the  incapacity 
and  dishonesty  of  the  republican  financiers.  Since 
the  fall  of  Robespierre  various  computations  had 
put  the  national  property  at  from  10,000,000,000  to 
17,000,000,000  of  francs  in  assignats,  thus  officially 
recognising  the  depreciation  by  reckoning  at  the 
speculative  price  which  paper  bore  in  the  market. 
The  Finance  Committee  in  1795  announced  the 
national  property  as  worth  7,000,000,000  of  ecus. 
The  actual  value  of  the  national  domains  at  the 
end  of  the  Terror  might  have  been  put  at  from 
2,000,000,000  to  3,000,000,000,  but  such  confusion  and 

London,"  he  wrote  in  1796  (Correspondance  polilique  pour  seruir 
a  Fhistoire  du  republicanisme  en  France],  "have  predicted  with 
such  confidence  that  the  fall  of  the  assignats  would  bring  about  that 
of  the  Revolution  and  necessitate  peace  do  not  know  France,  the 
Revolution,  or  its  agents." 


corruption  prevailed  in  their  administration  that  a  real 
estimate  was  perhaps  impossible,  and  the  nature  of  the 
security  made  it  difficult  to  sell  at  all  except  at  prices 
low  enough  to  tempt  speculators.  Much,  therefore, 
as  the  Government  were  able  to  profit  by  trading  in 
their  own  paper  issues,  desperate  measures  were  soon 
necessitated  by  the  growing  worthlessness  of  their  paper. 
In  a  time  of  peace  and  prosperity  Necker  had  never 
been  able  to  raise  in  a  single  year  a  loan  of  more  than 
100,000,000.  The  Directory  now  demanded  from  an 
impoverished  nation  a  loan  of  six  times  that  amount, 
a  sum  equal  to  a  year's  revenue  was  to  be  raised  within 
six  weeks  from  a  people  whose  whole  effective  capital 
in  money  and  paper  did  not  amount  to  more  than 
double  the  sum  to  be  levied ;  and  in  spite  of  the  most 
arbitrary  and  cruel  methods  of  collection,  in  spite,  in 
fact,  of  a  general  confiscation  of  money  and  goods,  it 
may  readily  be  conceived  that  not  one-third  of  this 
loan  was  ultimately  recovered  by  the  Government.  All 
taxation  partook  of  the  irregular  nature  of  this  loan,  for 
regular  means  could  never  have  supplied  the  immense 
necessities  of  the  Directory.  A  large  part  was  derived 
from  the  conquest  and  plunder  of  foreign  countries,  and 
the  hope  of  foreign  spoil  was  the  principal  inducement 
held  out  to  the  armies  of  France.  At  home  the  plunder 
of  churches  and  of  the  Mobilier  National,  consisting 
of  the  confiscated  plate,  jewellery  and  valuables  of  the 
emigres,  was  soon  exhausted.  The  national  domains, 
almost  unsaleable,  were  alienated  with  extraordinary 
recklessness.  Indirect  taxes,  which  had  been  in  large 
part  remitted  by  the  first  Assemblies  in  an  approach 
to  free-trade  principles,  were  re-imposed  in  all  their 
severity,  while  of  the  direct  taxes  the  most  important 


and  onerous  was  the  land-tax,  half  of  which  was 
collected  in  kind — a  system  of  wholesale  plunder  which 
is  one  of  the  most  distinctive  marks  of  Jacobin  rule. 
Everything  necessary  for  the  support  of  the  armies  was 
obtained  in  this  manner  ;  grain  of  all  kinds  was  collected 
in  Government  granaries ;  shirts,  stockings,  cloth  and 
linen  were  obtained  in  the  same  way  ;  and  at  one  time 
30,000  horses,  at  another  100,000  pairs  of  shoes,  were 
to  be  supplied  by  contractors  who,  unpaid  by  the 
Government,  enriched  themselves  by  private  pillage. 
Requisitions  of  men  were  not  less  fatal  to  the  pros- 
perity of  the  country,  nor  less  difficult  to  execute.  The 
memory  of  the  dragonnades  was  revived  by  the  pursuit 
of  the  young  conscripts  ;  hussars  and  gendarmes  carried 
on  the  guerre  aux  requisitionnaires,  who,  at  the  least 
resistance,  were  tied  together  in  twos  or  fours,  and  in 
this  fashion  were  described  as  "  flying  to  the  defence 
of  liberty"! 

In  1721  the  scheme  of  Law  had  collapsed  and 
shaken  the  very  foundation  of  credit,  yet  the  issue  of 
paper  had  not  exceeded  1,500,000,000.  The  destruc- 
tion of  30,000,000,000  of  paper,  at  a  time  when  half 
of  the  coin  of  the  country  had  left  it  and  the  rest 
had  been  hoarded,  might  have  been  expected  to  pro- 
duce a  catastrophe  of  incalculable  dimensions.  But 
the  consequences  of  financial  error  and  dishonesty, 
instead  of  falling  on  the  country  in  one  crushing  blow, 
extended  over  a  series  of  disastrous  years.  The  Re- 
volution is  distinguished  by  no  one  signal  or  special 
act  of  ruin,  but  almost  every  financial  operation  was  in 
itself  an  act  of  bankruptcy,  and  every  Government 
transaction  a  declaration  of  insolvency. 

It  would  be  a  hopeless  task  to  enumerate  the  cases 


in  which  the  Government  suspended  the  payment  of 
its  creditors,  sanctioned,  by  acknowledging,  the  de- 
preciation of  its  paper,  or  revoked  the  sales  of  State 
property.  It  is  enough  that  repudiation  began  in 
1 792,  when  Claviere,  the  Girondist  Minister  of  Finance, 
announced  that  a  new  issue  of  paper  would  be  applied 
to  defraying  the  expenses  of  the  war  instead  of  paying 
the  State  creditors,  and  that  it  did  not  end  till  the  final 
act  of  bankruptcy  by  the  Consulate.  If  the  holders  of 
the  Government  stock,  whose  condition  was  acknow- 
ledged by  the  doles  of  bread  and  meat  occasionally 
awarded  to  them,  were  the  worst  sufferers  by  the 
Revolution,  the  officials  and  pensioners  were  hardly 
better  off,  and  the  only  classes  which  profited  by  the 
general  ruin  were  the  speculators  in  gold  and  silver, 
coin  and  bullion.  The  fortunes  made  by  these  sang- 
sues  publiques,  as  they  were  called,  whose  opulence 
was  considered  an  insult  to  the  general  misery,  excited 
(however  ignorantly)  the  bitterest  feeling  in  the  popular 
mind,  although  the  spirit  of  speculation  had  extended 
with  the  issue  of  assignats  of  small  sums  to  every  class 
of  the  population.  Speculation  was  not  confined  to 
money,  but  prevailed  with  regard  to  the  only  other 
form  of  wealth  which  retained  exchange  value  at  a 
time  when  the  state  of  the  currency  had  necessitated 
a  return  to  the  primitive  system  of  barter.  Every 
shop  was  turned  into  a  treasure  house  for  the  accumu- 
lation of  commodities  and  provisions  of  the  first 
necessity.  The  Government,  with  its  hoards  of  grain 
and  material  for  the  support  of  the  armies,  joined  in 
the  struggle  for  existence.  The  average  price  of 
provisions  rose  to  three  times  what  it  had  been  in 
1791,  while  the  average  consumption  was  largely 


reduced.  The  farmers,  except  under  extreme  pressure 
from  taxation  and  Government  requisitions,  could  not 
be  induced  to  part  with  their  grain  in  exchange  for 
assignats,  and  the  Government  had  to  come  to  the 
assistance  of  private  traders.  The  sustenance  of  Paris 
thus  fell  upon  the  nation,  and  rations  were  throughout 
the  Revolution  served  out  to  the  citizens  of  the  capital. 
Subventions  to  the  bakers  and  butchers  enabled  them 
to  buy  provisions  from  without  and  to  sell  at  a  price 
which,  when  100  livres  assignats  were  equal  to  two  or 
three  livres  in  coin,  is  represented  by  the  statement 
that  100  livres  in  paper  were  worth  from  six  to  fourteen 
in  coin  in  the  operations  of  retail  trade.1  This,  when 
labourers  were  paid  in  paper  worth  from  a  quarter  to 
half  its  nominal  value  and  officials  and  public  creditors 
in  paper  at  its  full  nominal  value,  meant  a  struggle  for 
life  of  which  Paris  at  this  time  presented  a  terrible 
picture.  Crowds  of  people  stood  all  night  at  the  doors 
of  the  Treasury,  of  the  shops,  and  of  the  places  ap- 
pointed for  the  doles  of  food  ;  workmen  diminished 
their  hours  of  labour  from  want  of  strength  to  work 
longer,  nor  could  strength  be  expected  where  life  was 
constantly  supported  upon  the  most  disgusting  offal. 
The  decline  of  the  population  was  both  the  cause 
and  the  sign  of  the  diminished  wealth  and  produc- 
tiveness of  the  country.  Mallet  du  Pan's  estimates 
are  probably  in  excess  of  the  truth, — he  stated  that 

1  Thus  in  February  1796  a  dinner  for  two  persons  at  the  Palais 
Royal  cost  1,500  francs  in  assignats,  and  for  twenty,  20,000  francs  a 
course ;  in  a  fiacre,  6,000  francs ;  a  loaf  of  bread,  80 ;  a  pound  of 
meat,  60 ;  a  pound  of  candles,  180 ;  and  a  bottle  of  wine,  100  francs 
(Lady  Blennerhassett's  Madame  de  Stael,  vol.  ii.,  p.  278,  French 


the  population  had  decreased  from  26,000,000  to 
18,000,000 — but  in  the  absence  of  adequate  data  for 
a  calculation,  the  maintenance  of  armies  beyond  the 
frontier,  the  losses  caused  by  emigration,  war  and 
famine,  and  the  utter  neglect  of  the  hospitals  and 
charitable  institutions,  were  all  causes  of  the  decrease 
of  the  adult  male  population  which  Lord  Malmesbury 
noticed  in  his  journey  through  the  North  of  France. 
Mallet  testifies  to  the  vide  immense  of  men  and  the 
want  of  hands  in  the  industrial  pursuits,  and  the 
Government  admitted  the  fact  by  the  leave  granted 
to  the  troops  quartered  in  the  interior  to  take 
part  in  the  operations  of  the  harvest1  Even  more 
serious,  especially  in  its  political  aspect,  was  the 
decimation  of  the  upper  classes  of  France  by  death, 
ruin  and  emigration.  The  rate  of  interest,  which 
before  the  Revolution  had  stood  at  4  or  6  per  cent. 
per  annum,  rose  during  its  course  to  6  or  8,  and  never 
sank  below  2  per  cent,  per  month ;  credit  was  indeed 
destroyed,  and  no  branch  of  industry  escaped  the 
general  decay. 

"No  people  were  ever  put  to  so  cruel  a  test,  none 
ever  expiated  their  faults  by  greater  sufferings ;  a 
capital  of  thirty  milliards  is  becoming  worthless  in  the 
very  hands  of  its  possessors ;  industry,  commerce  and 

1  M.  Taine,  in  his  volume  on  the  Revolution,  adduces  some 
valuable  evidence  on  this  point.  He  estimates  the  probable  deaths 
from  privation  at  more  than  a  million,  and  quotes  the  calculation  of 
M.  Leonce  de  Lavergne  that  another  million  perished  in  war  from 
1792  to  1800.  Bordeaux  lost  a  tenth  of  its  population,  Rheims  an 
eighth,  and  Lyons,  after  the  siege,  was  reduced  from  130,000  to 
80,000  inhabitants.  Against  these  losses  must  be  set  the  very 
noticeable  increase  in  the  infantile  population  resulting  from  early 


labour  of  every  kind  are  destroyed  at  their  source  ;  the 
needs  of  the  war  have  depopulated  the  empire,  misery 
has  no  limits,  famine  again  besieges  Paris.  .  .  .  Miser- 
able skeletons  daily  fall  dead  of  starvation  in  the  streets, 
the  distribution  of  bread  presents  the  aspect  of  a  siege, 
and  the  approaches  to  the  bakers'  shops  resemble  a 
field  of  battle." ' 

"  Like  the  Louisiana  savage  who  cuts  down  the 
tree  in  order  to  gather  the  fruit,"  like  a  "  spendthrift 
dissipating  his  patrimony,"  the  Directory  devoured 
the  resources  of  the  country  with  a  profound  indiffer- 
ence to  any  object  but  that  of  maintaining  their  own 
power.  If  peace  for  the  allies  meant  a  warrant  of 
insurrection  to  their  populations,  much  more  for  France 
would  it  have  meant  a  revolt  of  the  people  and  the 
armies  against  the  authority  of  their  rulers.  '  Nous 
serious  perdus  si  nous  faisions  la  paixj  said  Sieves;2 
the  only  hope  of  the  Directory  lay  in  the  vigorous 
and  unscrupulous  prosecution  of  the  war ;  and  their 
system  had  all  the  force  of  a  fundamental  dogma,  a 
policy  of  State,  an  object  of  fanaticism,  and  a  result  of 

"  This  pretended  Government  treats  France  as 
Lord  Clive  treated  the  Hindus.  They  have  accus- 
tomed the  country  to  every  kind  of  exaction  and  to 
the  expectation  of  still  worse  things.  .  .  .  They  fear 
the  return  of  the  generals  and  armies  into  the  interior, 
they  carry  on  a  war  of  insolent  proselytism  into  which 
they  have  imported  every  upstart  passion,  nor  does 
it  require  much  reasoning  to  perceive  that  a  faction 
which  is  also  a  sect,  which  has  founded  a  Republic  upon 
the  hatred  and  destruction  of  kings,  which  has  over- 
turned an  ancient  Monarchy,  massacred  a  royal  house, 

1  Correspondence  for  Vienna,  i.,  370.  '2  Ibid.,  ii.,  49. 


and  founded  its  policy  as  well  as  its  security  upon  the 
extension  of  its  destroying  principles,  will  only  lay 
down  its  arms  when  it  has  no  longer  the  strength  to 
carry  them." 

From  the  very  beginning  the  party  attacked  in  the 
Brunswick  Manifesto  had  retaliated  by  a  propaganda 
of  their  principles  in  the  camp  and  country  of  the 
enemy,  and  the  Girondists,  the  principal  authors  of 
the  war,  were  the  first  to  formulate  this  policy.  The 
realisation  of  the  scheme  of  "  philosophic  conquests  " 
had  been  interrupted  for  a  moment  by  the  Jacobin 
rule  and  by  the  death  struggle  of  factions  within  the 
Convention,  and  Danton,  the  most  nearly  allied  of  the 
Jacobins  to  the  Gironde,  alone  seems  to  have  had  a 
definite  conception  of  foreign  policy.  The  Revolution 
of  Thermidor  brought  to  the  front  the  remains  of  the 
Gironde.  Of  this  party  Mallet  observes,  that— 

"  neither  the  horrors  of  that  sanguinary  regime  nor 
the  oppression  under  which  they  groaned  during  the 
dictatorship  of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety,  neither 
their  misfortunes  nor  the  death  of  so  many  of  their 
number  upon  the  scaffold,  neither  experience  nor 
reason  nor  the  duty  of  closing  the  bleeding  wounds 
of  their  country  and  of  giving  her  peace,  had  touched 
these  theorists.  They  would  sooner  see  the  universe 
in  ashes  than  abandon  their  design  of  submitting  it  to 
their  doctrines.  On  pent  tenter,  on  pent  esptrer  la  con- 
version (fun  sce'le'rat,  jamais  celle  tfun  philosophe"  * 

The  foreign  policy  of  the  Directory  was  characterised 
by  the  philosophic  insolence,  the  spirit  of  proselytism, 
and  the  desire  of  universal  revolution  which  animated 
this  sect.  The  Decree  of  Fraternisation  of  1792  was 

1  Correspondence  for  Vienna ,  i.,  152. 


followed  with  literal  exactness  by  the  Directory  in  every 
country  into  which  their  armies  could  penetrate.  All 
the  authorities — so  ran  that  famous  document — the 
nobles  and  priestly  classes,  as  well  as  every  privilege 
contrary  to  equality,  were  to  be  suppressed.  All  taxes 
and  former  sources  of  revenue  were  to  be  remitted, 
property  was  to  be  placed  under  the  administration  of 
the  invaders  to  guarantee  the  expenses  of  the  war, 
while  to  aid  them  in  regaining  their  liberty  the  repub- 
lican coinage  was  to  be  placed  at  their  disposal.  The 
people  were  then  to  be  summoned  to  primary  assem- 
blies, to  elect  their  civil  and  military  magistrates  under 
the  surveillance  of  Conventional  commissioners.  No 
plan  was  too  gigantic  for  the  dreams  of  the  Directory, 
none  too  extravagantly  immoral  to  be  proclaimed  to 
their  intended  victims.  They  aimed  at  nothing  short 
of  a  peace  which  should  overturn  the  rights  of  nations ; 
but  they  hoped  to  arrive  at  such  a  peace  by  effecting 
partial  pacifications,  and  endeavouring  in  this  way  to 
split  up  the  coalition  opposed  to  them.  Powers  thus 
neutralised  were  treated  rather  as  vassals  and  satellites 
of  the  Great  Republic  than  as  independent  States ;  and 
the  Directory  is  found  protesting,  on  the  one  hand, 
that  the  Swedish  people  may  always  count  on  their 
feelings  of  affection,  and,  on  the  other,  insisting  on  the 
expulsion  of  French  emigres  from  Savoy  or  of  the 
British  minister  from  Switzerland.  The  arms  of  the 
Directory  did  not  constitute  half  the  danger  which 
their  enemies  had  to  fear.  The  rule  of  the  French 
envoys  in  the  smaller  neutral  States  was  compared 
to  that  of  the  Pashas  in  Turkish  provinces.  Their 
mission  was  to  stir  up  by  every  means  dissatisfaction 
among  the  people  against  their  rulers,  and  so  prepare 


the  ground  for  the  entry  of  the  troops  who  were  to 
complete  the  work.  Every  country  which  had  the 
misfortune  to  be  in  diplomatic  relations  with  France 
received  in  its  midst  trained  Jacobins  who,  using  their 
official  character  as  a  cloak,  turned  their  legation  or 
consulate  into  a  meeting-place  for  traitors  and  con- 

The  allied  Powers  were  little  fitted  for  a  contest 
with  such  enemies.  "When  Europe  was  invaded  by 
200,000  barbarians  it  was  not  nearly  so  incapable  of 
offering  a  resistance  as  it  has  now  become  by  its  own 
act."  The  balance  of  power  had  been  overthrown  by 
the  Revolution.  During  the  preceding  century  it  had 
been  possible  for  either  of  the  German  Powers  to  stand 
single-handed  against  France,  for  Austria  in  the  War 
of  Succession,  and  Prussia  in  the  seven  years'  War, 
had  held  their  own  against  their  German  rival  and 
France  combined.  The  immense  accession  of  territory 
to  the  French  State  now  exposed  Germany  to  the  full 
force  of  attack  from  the  north  and  west,  for  the  inter- 
vening bulwarks  of  Belgium,  Holland,  and  the  German 
provinces  west  of  the  Rhine  no  longer  existed.  The 
double  position  of  Austria  as  a  German  State  and  as 
head  of  the  Empire  was  another  source  of  weakness, 
and  the  correspondence  of  Mallet  was  intended  to 
strengthen  Colleredo  as  against  Thugut,  to  inspire 
an  imperial  as  opposed  to  a  narrowly  selfish  national 
policy.  The  enthusiasm  of  the  French  found  no 
counterpart  in  the  policy  of  the  allies.  Defence  is 
usually  weaker  than  attack,  and  the  championship  of 
the  principles  of  social  and  political  order,  although  a 
task  which  appealed  to  the  sympathies  of  a  Gentz  or  a 

Burke,  could  not  be  expected  to  awaken  a  response 



among  princes  who  displayed  heroic  insensibility  to 
the  general  interests,  or  among  populations  whose 
condition  was  in  many  cases  worse  than  that  of  the 
French  before  the  Revolution.  The  leaders  of  Ger- 
many were  unable  even  to  appeal  with  effect  to  the 
sentiment  which  in  the  long  run  was  to  prove  fatal 
to  French  ascendency  —  the  national  patriotism  of 
the  people ;  they  persisted  in  their  stupid  and  selfish 
schemes  of  aggrandisement  and  of  the  annihilation  of 
France  as  a  political  power,  at  a  time  when  Europe 
was  being  devoured  "  bit  by  bit  like  the  leaves  of  an 
artichoke  "  by  the  great  Republic.  Amid  conditions 
which  both  for  France  and  Europe  had  totally  changed, 
they  continued  to  fight  as  they  had  fought  all  through 
the  century,  and  to  make  war  upon  a  nation  ' freni- 
tique  et  desocialisee*  on  the  basis  which  they  had 
employed  in  the  struggle  against  Louis  XIV. 

The  correspondence  is  full  of  the  boldest  criticism 
of  the  ambiguity  of  conduct,  the  uncertainty  of  prin- 
ciple, "  the  effeminate  presumption  without  measure 
in  its  terror  or  its  confidence"  which  constituted  the 
policy  of  the  allies.  Of  all  the  errors  of  that  policy 
none  were  more  fatal  than  the  connection  with  the 
emigres,  whom  Burke  has  described  as  "a  well- 
informed,  sensible,  ingenious,  high -principled,  and 
spirited  body  of  cavaliers,"  and  in  whose  restoration, 
together  with  that  of  the  ancien  regime,  he  placed  his 
chief  hopes  of  a  counter-revolution  in  France.  Mallet, 
as  we  know,  estimated  very  differently  their  capacity 
and  judgment.  An  expedition  like  that  of  Quiberon 
could  have  been  undertaken  only  by  men  totally  igno- 
rant of  the  feeling  of  France,  and  he  has  no  words 
strong  enough  to  blame  their  wrongheadedness,  their 


egotism,  their  folly,  their  want  of  character  and  good 

"  As  absurd  as  on  the  first  day  of  the  Revolution, 
they  have  learnt  only  how  to  march  to  the  prison  or 
the  scaffold,  a  contemptible  and  servile  virtue  which 
will  never  embarrass  their  tyrants.  .  .  .  We  look  in 
France  for  a  leader  of  force  and  wisdom.  We  find  a 
king  buried  at  Verona,  passing  his  days  in  retirement  and 
self-effacement,  the  first  prince  of  the  blood  established 
at  Holyrood,  a  military  command  in  the  hands  of  a 
third  who  is  far  too  feeble  to  inspire  any  feeling  of 
terror  or  confidence,  and  whose  absolute  spirit  and  plan 
of  counter-revolution  by  force  of  arms  repel  three- 
fourths  of  the  partisans  of  the  throne.  We  find  obscure 
and  imbecile  agents  employed  without  discernment. 
.  .  .  The  obstinate  notion,"  he  continues,  "of  recover- 
ing France  by  miserable  attacks  in  detail,  by  theatrical 
plots,  by  means  of  the  chouans  who  are  permitted  to 
attack  all  who  have  not  assumed  the  livery  of  Coblentz, 
the  absence  of  all  object,  of  all  leadership,  of  any  prin- 
ciple of  concentration,  the  absurd  idea  that  the  nation 
will  rise  against  its  representatives  to  set  up  the  old 
regime,  the  total  ignorance  of  what  is  to  be  hoped  or 
feared  from  the  war,  the  constant  neglect  of  all  means 
of  persuasion  or  of  policy,  the  contrast  so  often  ap- 
parent between  operations  from  the  exterior  and  events 
in  the  interior  : " 

— such  are  the  faults  which  Mallet  signalises  as 
those  which  will  lead,  if  anything  can,  to  the  establish- 
ment of  the  Republic  in  France.  In  these  lines  we 
have  more  than  a  criticism,  we  have  an  indication  of 
a  policy  which  Mallet  never  ceased  to  press  upon 
the  Powers.  He  had  endeavoured  to  measure  with 
accuracy  the  real  sentiments  of  the  French,  and  to 

1  Correspondence  for  Vienna,  ii.,  21. 


reveal  to  the  Emperor,  in  his  careful  analyses,  the 
actual  strength  of  the  anti-Jacobin  elements  in  France. 
The  conclusion  he  constantly  maintained  was  that  the 
vast  majority  was  unfavourable  to  the  Revolutionary 
Government,  that  their  only  articulate  motives  were  a 
desire  for  the  return  of  peace,  of  plenty,  and  of  pro- 
sperity, a  hatred  of  foreigners,  and  a  dread  of  the 
restoration  of  the  old  regime.  The  former  government 
was,  he  said,  as  much  "  effaced  in  public  opinion  as  that 
of  Clovis ".  It  is  the  same  with  feudalism,  with  the 
power  and  popularity  of  the  Church,  and  with  a  thou- 
sand usages  "  as  totally  buried  as  though  they  had  never 
existed".  Mallet  was  in  absolute  disagreement  with 
Burke,  as  little  acquainted  at  this  time  with  the  public 
opinion  of  France  as  he  had  been  blind  to  its  condition 
before  the  Revolution,  in  his  estimate  of  the  necessity 
or  possibility  of  a  restoration  of  the  old  order  in  France. 
He  attached  no  superstitious  importance  to  any  one 
form  of  government.  A  born  republican  would  hardly, 
like  Burke,  found  an  argument  upon  the  danger  of  a 
republic  as  a  neighbour,  and  we  find  him  declaring 
that  whether  the  Government  were  monarchical  or 
republican  mattered  little  :  it  was  the  Revolution  with 
which  it  was  impossible  to  treat.  Mallet,  however, 
like  Mirabeau,  came  early  to  the  conclusion  that  in 
France  the  monarchy  was  "  the  only  anchor  of  safety  "  ; 
and  he  saw  among  the  people  no  such  prejudice  against  a 
modified  and  constitutional  form  of  monarchical  gov- 
ernment as  existed  against  the  ancien  regime.  But  if 
the  people  would  accept,  they  would  and  could  do 
nothing  of  themselves  to  bring  about  a  counter-revolu- 
tion of  whatever  kind.  ljamais  un  pareil  peuple  ne 
s1  arrachera  de  lui-meme  au  joug  qu^il  sest  donne!  The 


necessary  impulse  might,  Mallet  hoped,  be  given  by 
the  action  either  of  the  allies  or  of  the  ckouans,  by 
means  of  the  foreign  or  of  the  civil  war.  But  all  hope 
from  the  royalist  insurgents  had  been  lost  from  the 
moment  when  they  took  up  arms  without  waiting  for 
the  time  when  they  could  have  acted  as  the  auxiliaries 
of  a  party  in  the  legislative  body,  in  Paris,  or  in  the 
country.  Disconnected  risings  in  pursuance  of  plans 
dictated  from  abroad,  brigandage  practised  by  the 
rebels  upon  all  who  had  not  totally  abjured  the  Revo- 
lution, upon  constitutional  priests  and  Royalists,  upon 
peasants  and  townsmen,  had  led  to  a  system  of  bloody 
reprisals,  to  the  discredit  of  the  royalist  cause,  and 
finally  to  the  destruction  of  the  rebels  themselves. 
A  combined  and  well-supported  movement  and  some 
rapid  successes  might  have  placed  the  Vendeans  in  a 
position  to  avail  themselves  of  the  moral  resources  offered 
by  the  state  of  France.  By  a  formal  proclamation  to 
the  people,  and  to  the  Assembly,  they  should  have 
demanded  a  free  convocation  of  the  primary  Assemblies, 
and  laid  before  them  for  decision  the  question  between 
Monarchy  and  the  Revolution.  Some  such  policy  as 
this  would  more  seriously  have  embarrassed  the  Gov- 
ernment than  any  number  of  battles,  and  given  a 
point  dappui  to  the  reactionary  feeling  of  the  country. 
Whatever  criticism  applied  to  the  conduct  of  the 
civil  war  applied  with  even  greater  force  to  the  conduct 
of  the  foreign  war.  The  allies  should  have  appeared 
not  as  principals  but  as  auxiliaries  of  a  party  in  France, 
not  as  enemies  of  the  nation  but  as  enemies  of  a  faction. 
The  ' folle  manic  de  batailler'  should  have  had  no 
place  in  their  councils.  Not  a  step  should  have  been 
taken  without  full  consideration  of  its  effects  in  France, 


without  concert  with  the  counter-revolutionary  leaders 
in  the  country.  "  Never  will  the  people  recognise  a 
king  given  them  by  their  enemies."  They  should  have 
relied  upon  moral  means  rather  than  upon  arms.  Again 
and  again  Mallet  counsels  the  issuing  of  proclamations 
which  should  reassure  the  French  as  to  the  intention 
of  the  allies,  and  dispel  their  prejudice  that  the  Powers 
would  pretend  to  dictate  the  laws  or  government  under 
which  they  were  to  live,  or  that  they  were  armed  for 
the  restoration  of  the  ancien  regime.  He  insisted  that 
it  would  be  all  over  with  the  Republic  if  the  Powers 
could  reduce  the  question  to  the  solemn  and  definite 
alternative  of  peace  and  monarchy,  or  war  and  repub- 
licanism ;  and  that  such  a  declaration,  supported  by 
strong  defensive  measures  on  the  Rhine  and  a  succes- 
sion of  short  and  sympathetic  exhortations,  would  reveal 
to  the  people  a  possibility  of  ending  their  miseries,  and 
encourage  the  Royalists  to  organise  a  combined  move- 

It  was  the  same  policy  which  Mallet  du  Pan  had 
urged  and  recommended  from  the  very  beginning  of 
the  war.  He  continued  to  recommend  it  with  a  persis- 
tence and  even  hopefulness  which  cannot  but  strike  the 
reader  of  this  Correspondence,  and  which  has  led  some 
of  his  critics  to  condemn  his  advocacy  of  an  "impossible  " 
policy,1  his  adherence  to  a  hopeless  cause,  as  evidence 
of  a  want  of  practical  sagacity.  Yet  it  is  precisely  as 
a  practical  policy  on  the  part  of  one  who  saw  that  the 
Republic  meant  anarchy,  and  who  knew  that  a  return 
to  despotism  could  not  be  a  final  solution,  that  both 
Mallet's  adherence  to  the  idea  of  a  Constitutional 

1  "  Conseil  fort  raisonnable  sans  doute,  mais  dont  on  peut  se  de- 
mander  s'il  etait  bien  executable."  G.  Valette. 


Monarchy  and  his  action  as  regards  the  war  are  capable 
of  defence. 

Theoretically,  of  course,  nothing  could  be  more 
unsound  than  the  policy  of  foreign  interference,  for  no 
maxim  in  politics  seems  more  indisputable  than  that 
one  nation  should  not  interfere  in  the  domestic  disputes 
of  another.  Nothing  could  have  been  more  imprudent 
than  for  the  King  to  traffic  with  foreign  Powers.  But 
the  war  was  none  of  the  King's  making,  nor,  as  we 
have  seen,  of  Mallet's  counselling.  It  must  be  borne 
in  mind  that  Mallet  did  not  go  to  Frankfort  until  Louis 
XVI.  had  made  every  effort  to  prevent  the  war,  and 
he  himself  had  done  all  that  was  possible  to  point  out 
its  dangers.  The  allies  were  approaching  as  enemies 
whether  the  King  interfered  or  not,  the  revolutionary 
parties  in  the  capital  were  pressing  forward  to  destroy 
him,  and  his  only  chance  lay  in  attempting  to  play  the 
part  of  a  mediator.  Peace  being  out  of  the  question, 
it  only  remained  for  one  who,  unlike  Rivarol,  refused 
to  stand  aside  to  counsel  the  conduct  of  the  war  upon 
reasonable  and  intelligible  principles.  Mallet  could 
not  foresee  the  strategical  blundering  by  which,  in  its 
opening  stages,  Brunswick  and  Coburg  were  to  make 
its  success  impossible.  It  may  be  admitted  that  he 
deceived  himself  as  to  the  effect  the  war  would  have 
in  uniting  public  opinion  in  France  against  the  foreign 
enemy.  He  was  wrong  in  thinking  that  the  timid  and 
long-suffering  majority  would  revolt  against  the  Jacobin 
rule.  He  was  mistaken  in  his  view  of  the  objects  of 
the  allies.  But  months  before  this  correspondence 
opened  any  such  illusions  had  finally  disappeared,  and 
in  1795  he  confessed  that  a  general  peace  was  the  best 
thing  to  be  hoped  for.  During  the  spring  and  summer 


of  that  year,  when  Prussia  and  Spain  made  terms  with 
the  Republic  and  Sweden  and  Naples  courted  her 
friendship  ;  when  the  armies  of  France,  exhausted  by 
her  gigantic  efforts,  and  those  of  Austria,  engrossed  in 
the  Polish  imbroglio  and  impervious  to  British  exhorta- 
tions and  subsidies,  stood  idly  opposite  to  each  other  on 
the  Rhine,  such  a  peace  seemed  in  sight  and  with  it  the 
restoration  of  Constitutional  Monarchy  in  France.  The 
grand  opportunity,  not  for  want  of  advice  from  Mallet 
du  Pan,  was  missed,  and  by  the  end  of  the  year  it  was 
evident  that  the  struggle  between  France  and  Austria 
was  to  be  renewed  in  a  more  menacing  and  portentous 
form  than  before. 

Mallet  had  long  foreseen  such  a  development  which 
was  to  end  only  with  the  creation  of  a  new  Europe,  a 
Continent  transformed  in  a  national  and  military  sense  ; 
and  so  far  from  his  persistence  in  counselling  the  effec- 
tive prosecution  of  the  war,  and  in  endeavouring  to 
convince  the  Austrian  Government  against  its  will  of 
the  real  character  of  the  struggle,  being  a  sign  of  want 
of  practical  sagacity,  it  is,  in  fact,  a  proof  of  enlightened 
statesmanship.  That  he  should  have  lost  faith  in  the 
will  and  capacity  of  the  allied  Governments  and  of  the 
Princes  of  the  royal  house  of  France  to  terminate  the 
convulsion  was  natural,  it  was  indeed  justified  by  all 
the  facts ;  but  it  throws  into  still  stronger  relief  the 
loyalty,  consistency  and  courage  with  which  he  con- 
tinued to  maintain  their  cause,  and  the  cause  of  con- 
stitutional order  and  freedom. 

The  events  of  1796,  indeed,  tested  these  qualities 
to  the  uttermost,  and  reduced  him  to  a  state  of  mind 
something  like  despair.  His  comments  on  the  progress 
of  the  Italian  campaign  show  how  fully  he  realised 


what  the  French  successes  threatened  for  the  European 
powers.  '  L?  Europe  estfinie?  he  had  exclaimed  on  hear- 
ing of  the  Peace  of  Bale.  The  Italian  campaign,  he 
confessed,  finally  led  him  to  abandon  all  hope  that  the 
allies  would  ever  unite  in  good  faith  against  the  common 
enemy.  "  Two  hundred  thousand  barbarians,"  he  wrote 
in  May  1796,  "once  invaded  the  Roman  Empire  which 
had  the  advantage  of  unity,  science,  discipline,  entrench- 
ments and  fortifications.  To-day  six  hundred  thousand 
barbarians  are  swarming  over  a  multitude  of  decrepit 
and  divided  States  governed  by  marionettes  of  papier 
mackd."  To  De  Castries  he  observed  in  July  that 
Europe  had  reached  the  end  prophesied  in  vain  by  him 
during  the  last  four  years.  "  She  must  pass  under  the 
yoke  and  assume  the  bonnet  rouge,  or  fight ;  and  fight  she 
will  not  except  on  the  retreat.  This  is  the  first  moment 
since  the  origin  of  the  Revolution  at  which  all  hope 
and  all  courage  have  abandoned  me."  To  another 
he  wrote  :  "  Whether  the  King  takes  up  his  residence 
in  the  North  or  the  South,  on  the  Rhine  or  the  Neva, 
appears  to  me  absolutely  unimportant.  They  will  come 
back  to  the  monarchy,  but  probably  neither  you  nor 
I  shall  witness  that  event."  And,  in  spite  of  the  brilliant 
and  unexpected  victories  of  the  Archduke  Charles  over 
Jourdan  on  the  Danube,  and  the  retreat  of  Moreau 
which  saved  the  Empire  by  frustrating  Bonaparte's 
daring  plan  to  meet  the  two  generals  with  his  Italian 
army  in  the  heart  of  Germany,  he  wrote  in  November 
to  Gallatin  :  "  The  future  is  more  black  with  clouds 
than  ever  before".  But  he  kept  all  the  time  a  brave 
front  in  his  official  correspondence,  and  speculated 
hopefully  on  the  military  results  of  the  successes  of 
the  Archduke. 


Early  in  the  same  year,  just  before  the  victories  of 
Bonaparte,  Mallet  du  Pan  had  given  expression  to  the 
views  we  have  followed  in  his  correspondence  in  the 
only  writing  l  he  had  published  since  1793.  His  object 
in  penning  this  fragment,  an  introduction  to  a  projected 
series  of  letters,  was  to  say  what  a  crowd  of  discerning 
people  in  Paris  dared  not  say  for  themselves,  and  to 
speak  with  such  emphasis  and  force  that  the  Directory 
should  be  unable  to  keep  it  out  of  the  country. 
Nothing  that  he  ever  wrote  surpasses  this  pamphlet 
in  scathing  eloquence.  I  need  not  dwell  on  the  denun- 
ciation, never  more  powerfully  drawn,  of  the  revolution- 
ary methods  and  leaders  which  was  intended  to  rouse 
the  Parisian  public  to  a  sense  of  their  own  degradation, 
and  to  a  recognition  of  the  tyranny  to  which  the 
Revolution  was  inevitably  tending.  But  it  is  impos- 
sible to  pass  over  the  passages  which  read  like  an 
answer  to  the  Considerations 2  in  which  Joseph  de 
Maistre  had  exalted  the  wisdom  of  the  Declaration  of 
Verona,  repudiated  any  transaction  with  revolutionary 
opinion,  and  thereby  placed  fresh  arms  in  the  ignorant 
and  prejudiced  hands  of  the  Jacobins  d1  aristocratic. 
In  language  no  less  elevated  than  that  of  the  champion 
of  absolutism,  he  demonstrated  for  the  hundredth  time 
the  hopelessness  of  the  attempt  to  lead  the  people  of 
France  back  to  the  twelfth  century,  to  rebuild  with  the 

1  Correspondance  politique  pour  servir  a  rhistoire  du   Rtpubli- 
canisme  frangais ;  published  in  the  spring  of  1796,  with  the  motto, 
"Monstrum  horrendum  informe  ingens  cui  lumen  ademptum  ".     It 
was  published  in  Switzerland,  and  at  once  reprinted  in  Paris,  where  it 
went  through  three  editions  in  two  months,  being  openly  sold  in  the 
Palais  Royal,  with  the  applause  of  all  parties  except  the  Jacobins. 

2  Also  published  in  1796. 


dust  of  the  ancien  regime  the  solid  palace  of  their 
ancestors.  Granted  that  the  royal  domination  over  a 
people  which  had  accepted  with  fickle  acquiescence 
one  usurpation  after  another  might,  if  it  were  once  re- 
established, be  maintained,  where  was  the  force,  where 
were  the  armies,  the  treasure,  the  prestige  which  could 
re-establish  it?  How  could  the  Revolution  be  dethroned 
but  at  the  hands  of  the  nation  itself,  and  what  meaning 
did  the  Vendean  device,  "God  and  the  King,"  convey 
to  the  immense  majority  of  French  citizens  who  had 
shared  in  the  errors  and  the  actions,  the  crimes  and  the 
advantages  of  the  Revolution  ?  Again  did  Mallet  affirm 
the  conviction  that  of  all  the  causes  which  had  contri- 
buted to  the  energy  of  the  Revolution  and  prolonged 
its  duration  the  foreign  war  had  been  paramount.  As 
a  result  of  it  the  Republic,  by  a  strange  contradiction, 
was  about  to  be  adopted  and  recognised  in  the  political 
hierarchy  at  the  moment  when  in  France  itself  both 
rulers  and  ruled  were  confessing  the  impossibility  of 
maintaining  the  Republican  regime.  The  struggle 
had  worn  out  France  but  not  the  Revolution ;  it  had 
proved  what  was  in  doubt  in  1792,  that  the  Revolution 
was  stronger  than  Europe.  Never  had  the  writer  ex- 
posed in  more  masterly  phrases  the  errors  which  had 
brought  Europe  to  the  alternative  of  an  eternal  war  or 
a  disastrous  peace  with  a  faithless  but  indomitable 
adversary.  A  comparison  of  modern  Europe  with  the 
Greeks  of  the  lower  Empire  brings  the  melancholy 
review  to  a  close.  The  anarchy  of  men's  minds,  he 
declared,  had  killed  public  spirit,  as  cosmopolitanism 
and  the  multiplicity  of  interests  had  destroyed  all 
common  national  sentiment.  '  P£risse  le  genre  humain 
pourvu  que  je  reste  debout  sur  ses  mines  avec  mes 


loisirs,  mon  or,  et  mes  amusements.     Voila  le  patriotisme 
du  1 8me  siecle  ! ' * 

This  pamphlet  is  remarkable  among  Mallet's  writ- 
ings for  its  almost  complete  absence  of  positive  advice 
and  guidance.2  The  moral  was  perhaps  too  plain  to 
need  developing.  But  the  whole  utterance  is  that  of  a 
man  profoundly  and  justly  discouraged,  speaking  no 
less  to  satisfy  his  own  pent-up  emotions  than  to  rouse 
others  to  exertion.  To  see  the  peril,  to  point  it  out, 
to  be  unable  to  prevent  his  friends  from  courting 
and  inviting  it,  to  watch  the  fulfilment  in  ever-increasing 
measure  of  his  worst  anticipations,  had  been  and  was 
still  to  be  the  lot  of  Mallet  du  Pan  ;  to  drink  deep 
of  the  cup  so  bitter  to  the  few  in  every  generation  who 
are  at  once  loyal  and  far-sighted.  No  wonder  that  his 
work  from  this  time  took  a  deeper  tinge  of  despondency 

1  Similar   reflections   were   suggested   to   him   in    1798   by   the 
spectacle  of  the  cowardice  of  the  Swiss  Government  and  magistracy- 
contrasted  with  the  warlike  energy  of  the  intrepid  peasantry  and  people 
(letter  to  De  Pradt,  iyth  Feb.).    "A  force  d'urbanite*,  d'epicure'isme, 
de  mollesse,  tout  ce  qui  est  riche,  grand  de  naissance,  proprie"taire, 
homme  comme  il  faut,  est  absolument  d'etremp'e.    II  n'y  a  plus  ni  sang, 
ni  sentiment,  ni  dignite",  ni  raison,  ni  capacite*.     L'amour  du  repos 
est  le  seul  instinct  qui  leur  reste,  ce  sont  les  Indiens  que  les  Mogols 
trouvent   couches  sur   des  feuilles   de   palmier  au  moment  ou   ils 
viennent  les  exterminer  et  les  piller.     Lorsque  les  nations  en  sont  la, 
il  faut  qu'elles  perissent.     Le  Gouvernement  en  Europe  etait  depuis 
trente  ans  une  mascarade :  on  allait  par  le  mouvement  imprime ; 
mais  au  premier  choc  ces  vieilles  machines  sont  tombe's  en  poudre, 
et  Ton  a  vu  combien  elles  etaient  creuses." 

2  Malouet  reproached  him  for  leaving  no  hope  and  suggesting  no 
remedies.     "As  an  historian,"  he  wrote,  "you  have  no  doubt  the 
right  to  pronounce  judgment ;  and  I  am  much  of  your  opinion.     But 
you  are  no  longer  an  historian,  you  are  a  councillor  of  the  European 
Diet "  (Malouet's  Memoirs,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  466  and  468). 


while  gaining  in  authority  and  sombre  power.  To 
contemporaries  impatient  of  a  speedy  issue  out  of  their 
afflictions  there  was  little  comfort  to  be  obtained  from 
his  words.  While  it  was  still  true  that  he  believed  that 
the  Revolution  would  end  in  a  Restoration  (and  time 
showed  that  he  was  right),  it  was  in  no  sense  true  that 
he  believed  it  to  be  imminent. 

"  It  is  in  vain,"  he  said,1  "  to  count  on  the  fall  of  the 
Republic.  Those  who  consider  that  the  '  imperish- 
able '  Republic  will  perish  in  time  are  certainly  right  ; 
but  if  they  mean  that  its  fall  in  the  more  or  less  remote 
future  will  save  Europe,  if  they  fancy  that  everything 
will  suddenly  change  from  black  to  white,  they  are 
mistaken,  for  the  Republic  of  to-day  may  be  succeeded 
by  a  monarchical  or  dictatorial  Republic.  Who  can 
tell  ?  In  twenty  years  a  nation  in  ferment  may  give  a 
hundred  different  forms  to  such  a  Revolution." 

To  students  of  the  Revolution  his  writings  become 
increasingly  valuable,  and  this  pamphlet  is  full  of 
instruction  with  its  serried  arguments,  its  command  of 
philosophic  maxim  and  historical  analogy,  its  indignant 
eloquence.  In  England  it  would  have  secured  for  its 
author  the  posthumous  fame  of  a  Burke  ;  in  France  it 
has  remained  to  this  day  unnoticed  and  unquoted. 

1  Correspondence  for  Vienna,  Letter  of  2Qth  May  1796. 





"  YOUR  last  book  has  not  pleased  your  friends  as  much 
as  your  other  writings  ;  they  say  that  you  wrote  it  in  a 
rage."  Thus  reported  Mallet's  son  from  London  of  the 
pamphlet  just  described  ;  they  were  no  less  dissatisfied 
with  another  which  shortly  followed  it  and  which 
breathed  a  different  spirit.  The  Lettre  a  un  Ministre 
d*£tat,  published  in  March  1797,  was  a  masterly  sketch 
of  the  diplomatic  and  military  situation  of  the  Continent, 
and  of  the  policy  of  the  Directors,  the  *  five  vizirs 
qui  dune  main  tiennent  la  tUe  sanglante  dun  roi,  en 
recevant  de  Fautre  les  suppliques  de  C  Europe '.  Again 
he  insisted  on  the  boundless  and  redoubtable  ambition 
of  the  French  Government,  again  he  attempted  to  warn 
Austria  and  England  against  falling  into  the  trap  of 
separate  negotiation  with  the  Republic,  and  to  point  out 
the  danger  to  which  each  of  these  nations  was  exposed. 
He  showed  in  the  case  of  Austria  how  the  conquests 
in  Italy  and  their  developments  would  decide  the  fate 
of  the  Rhine  and  of  a  divided  and  discordant  Germany  ; 
and  he  described  the  designs  of  the  Directory  against 
England  in  terms  which  doubtless  appeared  exagger- 
ated, but  which,  as  the  event  proved,  were  little  short 


of  prophetic.  With  a  Government  animated  by  the 
principles  which  he  painted  in  colours  lurid  but  exact 
no  terms  were  possible,  and  there  was  no  safety  for 
Europe  so  long  as  she  remained  governed  by  egotistic 
motives  and  in  perpetual  conflict  with  herself.  '// 
riy  a  pas  un  instant  a  perdre]  he  wrote,  'nous  touchons 
a  I'heure  des  repentirs ;  celle  de  la  preservation  sdloigne 
a  pas  precipites? 

None  of  Mallet  du  Pan's  appeals  to  public  opinion 
met  with  less  response  than  this  call  for  vigorous  action 
and  statesmanship,  but  none  was  more  speedily  justified 
by  events.  His  son,  who  had  been  in  England  since 
November  1796,  engaged,  as  he  said,  in  the  "sicken- 
ing occupation  "  of  soliciting  employment,  has  left  the 
following  description  of  his  emigre  friends  and  their 
opinions  at  this  time  : — 

"I  was  received,"1  he  writes,  "with  open  arms 
by  a  large  circle  consisting  chiefly  of  Constitutional 
Royalists.  .  .  .  Malouet  and  Montlosier  considered 
me  almost  in  the  light  of  a  son,  and  a  day  seldom 
passed  without  my  seeing  them.  I  met  at  Malouet's 
house,  and  also  at  the  house  of  Princesse  d'Henin, 
who  lived  under  the  same  roof  with  Lally,  and  had 
a  regular  evening  circle,  many  distinguished  emi- 
grants :  the  Archbishop  of  Bordeaux  (Cice),  who  was 
Garde  des  Sceaux  in  the  year  1790,  a  shrewd,  sen- 
sible man ;  the  Baron  de  Gilliers ;  the  Chevalier  de 
Panat ;  the  Chevalier  de  Grave,  a  Constitutional  minis- 
ter— all  clever  men.  The  Prince  de  Poix  (Noailles), 
a  Constitutionalist,  who  had  been  captain  of  the 
king's  guard  ;  the  Comte  (now  Due)  de  Duras,  of  a 
great  family,  highly  accomplished,  and  of  fine  manners. 
Such  was  the  respect  entertained  for  my  father  by  all 
those  persons,  many  of  them  of  great  rank,  and  not  a 

1  Reminiscences. 


few  of  distinguished  talents,  that  they  treated  me  during 
my  stay  in  England  with  a  degree  of  kindness  and  con- 
sideration to  which  I  had  no  sort  of  personal  claim.  I 
was  assailed  on  my  arrival  with  questions  as  to  the 
state  of  public  opinion  in  France,  and  particularly  at 
Paris  ;  and  it  was  pretty  clear  that  my  friends  were  on 
the  look-out  for  such  circumstances  as  would  enable 
them  to  make  their  peace  with  any  Government  de 
facto  founded  on  moderate  principles.  If  Saint-Evre- 
mond,  petted  as  he  was  in  England  by  the  monarch 
and  the  court,  sighed  for  his  Paris  society,  what  must 
have  been  the  feelings  of  the  French  emigrants  ;  who, 
although  assisted  as  a  body  of  suffering  loyalists,  had 
been  constantly  kept  at  arm's  length  by  Mr.  Pitt  ;  had 
not  been  treated  with  any  favour  either  by  the  court  or 
the  royal  family,  and  saw  a  war,  avowedly  of  principle, 
almost  exclusively  directed  to  British  objects.  They 
did  not  therefore  conceal  their  just  and  laudable  grati- 
fication that  the  Convention,  however  hateful  in  its 
excesses,  should  have  asserted  and  secured  the  inde- 
pendence of  their  native  land." 

There  was  great  exultation  among  them  at  Bona- 
parte's military  successes x ;  they  imagined  that  the  Re- 
storation they  longed  for  would  come  about  through  his 
means,  and  they  looked  forward  to  the  elections  which 
were  to  take  place  in  the  spring  of  1797,  for  another 
third  of  the  councils,  as  a  sort  of  era  in  their  affairs. 
They  were  therefore  not  at  all  in  the  mood  to  acquiesce 
in  Mallet  du  Pan's  gloomy  views,  and  rather  took  the 

1  "Tu  n'as  pas  une  ide'e,"  J.  L.  Mallet  writes  to  his  father,  "du 
degre"  d'admiration  de  MM.  Lally,  de  Poix,  Macpherson,  Montlosier 
pout  Bonaparte,  et  pour  les  grands  hommes  de  la  France  actuelle ; 
Ce'sar  n'est  qu'un  e"colier  a  cote'  du  moderne  vainqueur  d'ltalie.  Us 
sont  profonde'ment  las  de  Immigration."  "  Moins  fier  que  vous,"  writes 
Malouet,  "  je  m'accommoderais  avec  toutes  les  re'publiques  du  monde  a 
la  seule  condition  de  finir  tranquillement  mes  jours  dans  mon  pays  ! " 


son  to  task  for  his  father's  opinions.  Malouet  himself 
blamed  the  energy  of  his  friend's  anathemas,  urged  him 
to  show  a  more  conciliatory  disposition  to  the  existing 
institutions  of  France,  and  even  remonstrated  seriously 
with  him  for  his  continued  support  of  the  legitimate 
King.  Mallet  du  Pan  retorted  that  the  dread  his 
friends  entertained  of  a  return  to  absolute  monarchy  in 
France  was  gradually  bringing  them  over  to  the  scheme 
of  a  republic ! 

It  would  have  been  strange  indeed  if,  with  his 
knowledge  of  opinion  in  France  and  of  the  methods 
of  the  Jacobins  on  the  one  hand  and  of  the  Royalists 
on  the  other,  Mallet  du  Pan  had  shared  the  pacific 
illusions  of  his  London  friends.  '  Nous  avons  vu  vingt 
fois  le  port,'  he  wrote  to  De  Castries,  ' et  la  tempete 
rejette  sans  cesse  notre  barque  en  pleine  mer'  But  he 
did  not  despair,  and  with  great  spirit  he  threw  himself 
into  the  internal  struggle  in  Paris  which  was  threaten- 
ing the  existence  of  the  Directory,  only,  however,  to 
prepare  for  himself  another  and  this  time  a  final  dis- 
appointment.1 By  May  1797  the  reaction  became  so 

1A  curious  letter  to  his  friend,  Saladin,  about  this  time  shows 
his  hopes.  "  Vous  verrez,"  he  says,  "cet  echafaudage  de  gouverne- 
ment  tomber  en  ruines  au  pied  du  trone,  ou  s'abimer  dans  1'anarchie. 
.  .  .  Plus  nous  avan9ons,  plus  j'observe  le  caractere  national  et  sa 
tendance,  et  plus  je  me  persuade  que  la  monarchic  sera  re'tablie  a 
1'improviste  sans  que  les  tatonneurs,  les  politiques,  les  essayeurs  con- 
stitutionnels  ayent  le  temps  d'achever  leurs  experiences."  Windham, 
who  saw  this  letter,  thought  on  the  contrary  that  "the  victorious 
Republic  would  gradually  establish  itself  in  a  way  that,  though  subject 
to  many  convulsions  and  many  changes,  it  will  not  be  finally  over- 
turned. I  shall  listen  with  great  delight  to  any  one  who  will  furnish 
me  with  the  hope  for  a  contrary  event,  and  derive  considerable  comfort 
from  finding  that  such  is  the  opinion  of  a  person  so  well  acquainted 



pronounced  that  he  allowed  himself  to  dwell  upon  the 
possibility  of  success,  and  formed  plans  for  his  own 
return  to  France  and  the  re-establishment  of  the 
Mercure.  His  son,  who  had  travelled  through  France  in 
the  preceding  autumn,  and  who  returned  to  Paris  in  June 
1797,  thus  described  the  situation  as  he  found  it  :— 

"How  far  the  Revolution  was  to  recede, to  what  point 
of  its  career  it  would  be  brought  back,  was  the  question 
every  one  was  asking  himself.  The  executive  Govern- 
ment, most  of  the  generals,  and  Bonaparte — in  himself 
a  host — were  on  the  side  of  the  Revolution,  and  pledged 
to  its  results.  On  the  other  hand  a  great  mass  of 
property,  of  talent,  and  even  some  great  military  names, 
such  as  Pichegru  and  Moreau,  were  inclined  for  a 
limited  monarchy,  and  were  endeavouring  by  their 
exertions  and  influence,  but  without  avowing  their 
ultimate  object,  to  obtain  a  repeal  of  the  more  obnoxi- 
ous revolutionary  laws,  and  to  displace  the  revolu- 
tionary leaders.  Others  again,  particularly  at  Paris 
and  in  great  commercial  towns,  wearied  of  war  and 
political  dissensions,  longed  for  any  Government  dis- 
posed to  a  compromise,  and  to  measures  of  conciliation 
towards  the  classes  that  had  so  severely  suffered. 

"...  Nothing  could  exceed  the  contempt  and  hatred 
with  which  the  Government  seemed  to  be  held  by  the 
great  mass  of  the  people  ;  nor  did  any  one  attempt  to 
conceal  it.  At  the  tables  dhote,  the  terms  of  gueux, 
brigands,  etc.,  were  freely  applied  to  the  '  five  kings/  the 
members  of  the  Directory.  At  Moiselles,  near  Paris, 
the  inn-keeper  called  out  to  a  boy  in  the  yard  to  see 
whether  the  ducks  had  been  fed,  and  being  answered 
in  the  affirmative,  he  then  inquired  for  the  reprbsen- 
tans ;  and  we  found  that  the  dindons  (turkeys)  had 
been  dignified  with  the  title  of  Representatives  of  the 
People ! " 

with  the  French  character,  with  the  actual  state  of  affairs  in  France, 
and  with  all  the  circumstances  of  the  Revolution,  as  M.  Mallet  du  Pan." 


But  he  saw  also  that  this  feeling  was  "  unconnected 
with  any  disposition  to  question  the  authority  of  these 
degraded  rulers.  The  Revolution  had  crushed  all 
resistance."  1 

Meanwhile  the  press  was  in  full  cry  against  the 
Government,  and  violent  and  frivolous  as  was  the  tone 
of  papers  like  Le  The,  Le  Menteur,  Le  Journal  des 
Rieurs,  they  faithfully  represented  public  opinion.  The 
result  of  the  elections,  a  crushing  defeat  of  the  Direc- 
tory, was  a  demonstration,  in  the  words  of  Royer 
Collard  one  of  the  most  distinguished  of  the  newly 
elected  candidates,  that  the  country  desired  the  "de- 
finitive and  absolute  proscription  of  the  revolutionary 
monster".  The  majority  of  the  two  Councils,  thus 
transformed,  found  themselves  in  absolute  antagonism 
to  the  Directorial  executive,  and  a  deadlock  was  pro- 
duced with  which,  as  Necker  had  foreseen,  the  Consti- 
tution had  provided  no  machinery  to  deal.  Mallet 
commented  at  this  time  on  the  distorted  constitution- 
alism which  had  substituted  independence  for  separa- 
tion of  functions,  and  contrasted  the  working  of  the 
British  constitution  with  that  of  the  Directory.2  He 
realised  at  once  that  the  only  solution  was  the  em- 
ployment of  force :  '  le  sabre  des  soldats  fera  taire 
Partillerie  des  langues  et  des  plumes'?  The  death 
struggle  between  the  two  parties  was  protracted  by 
the  powerlessness  of  either  to  strike  the  other  down. 
For  a  time  indeed  it  seemed  that  the  opposition  had 
a  chance  of  a  successful  military  coup.  "Paris," 
wrote  Mallet  to  Sainte-Aldegonde  (29th  July),  "is  in 

^•Reminiscences.  2  Letter  to  Vienna,  igth  July  1797. 

3  Letter  to  Sainte-Aldegonde,  zgth  April  1797. 


the  midst  of  a  crisis  which  will  ripen  our  affairs  or 
throw  them  back  indefinitely.  .  .  .  Pichegru  is  abhorred 
by  the  Jacobins.  Remember  what  I  told  you  of  this 
general  two  years  ago  :  note  that  he  will  play  an 
immense  part,  and  that  all  our  hopes  are  in  him.  The 
people  have  given  him  their  confidence,  and  will  march 
joyfully  under  his  orders.  We  are  sure  of  25,000 
resolute  men  in  Paris  alone."  That  Pichegru  with  his 
great  reputation  might  have  organised  some  such  force 
is  certain. 

"  Peuchet,"  wrote  the  younger  Mallet,  "than  whom 
no  man  is  better  acquainted  with  the  impulses  that 
put  in  motion  a  Paris  mob,  has  repeatedly  told  me 
that  an  insurrection  might  have  been  got  up  for  that 
purpose  with  a  few  thousand  pounds.  But  the  pro- 
posal of  the  reorganisation  of  the  Garde  Bourgeoise 
came  too  late,  and  was  not  well  received  ;  and  as  to 
revolutionary  measures,  the  better  part  of  the  Royalists 
probably  had  shunned  them." 

There  was  indeed  the  usual  want  of  concert  be- 
tween the  Royalists  of  the  Opposition.  Nothing  short 
of  a  complete  restoration  would  have  satisfied  the 
Bourbons  or  induced  them  to  countenance  any  move- 
ment in  their  favour,  and  no  man  of  influence  in  the 
Councils  would  have  lent  himself  to  so  desperate  a 
scheme,  although  Pichegru,2  Imbert  Colomes,  Camille 

1  Reminiscences. 

2  After  the  18  Fructidor,  Pichegru  was  arrested  and  deported 
to  Cayenne  with  other  members  of  the  Moderate  party,  for  the  days 
of  bloody  executions  were  over.     The  ship  which  carried  him,  how- 
ever, was  captured  and  brought  to  England,  a  circumstance  which 
saved  him  from  the  fate  of  some  of  his  friends,  Barthe'lemy,  Mallet's 
old  opponent  at  Berne,  among  the  number,  who  died  of  pestilential 

evers.     J.  L.  Mallet  writes  :  "  I  knew  something  of  Pichegru  in  Eng- 


Jordan,  and  others,  were  disposed  to  go  to  greater 
length  than  members  such  as  Thibaudeau  and  Boissy 
d'Anglas,  who  had  drunk  deep  of  the  revolutionary  cup, 
and  were  not  ready  to  dash  it  down.1  The  Councils, 
heedless  of  their  own  divisions  and  of  the  formidable 
enmities  they  had  aroused,  went  on  repealing  re- 
volutionary decrees,  curtailing  the  resources  of  the 
Directory  and  calling  for  peace,  without  taking  any 
effective  steps  to  organise  their  victory. 

land  many  years  afterwards,  and  previously  to  the  last  attempt  which 
brought  him  to  his  untimely  end.  He  was  ill  surrounded  here  by 
those  extremely  inferior  to  him — Royalist  desperadoes,  who  lived  on 
his  bounty.  He  was  a  good-natured,  generous-minded  man,  of  the 
greatest  simplicity  of  mind  and  manners ;  but  of  no  great  sagacity, 
whose  early  military  habits  had  inured  him  to  a  rough  sort  of  society. 
I  heard  at  that  time  from  his  friend,  Major  Rusillon,  that  the  French 
princes  pressed  upon  him  the  necessity  of  making  no  compromise 
with  the  Revolution  in  case  he  should  succeed ;  but  that  he  plainly 
told  them  that  he  would  not  concur  in  any  measures  which  had  not 
for  object  the  establishment  of  a  constitutional  and  limited  form  of 
government.  The  Archduke  Charles,  much  to  his  credit,  had  placed 
a  large  sum  of  money  at  Pichegru's  disposal  at  a  banker's  in  London 
for  his  expenses  during  his  residence  here,  and  I  understood  that 
Pichegru  had  availed  himself  of  this  generous  provision  to  the  extent 
of  ^1,500  a  year. 

"  Barthelemy,  who  had  been  Minister  of  the  Interior,  had  ordered 
some  plants  of  the  bread-tree  which  were  growing  in  the  hot-houses  of 
the  Jardin  des  Plantes  to  be  sent  to  Cayenne.  When  at  sea  with  his 
distinguished  and  unfortunate  companions,  and  being  ignorant  of 
their  joint  destination,  Barthelemy  saw  on  board  the  ship  the  plants 
he  had  ordered  for  Cayenne;  a  circumstance  which  removed  all 
further  doubt." 

1  "  II  y  a  tout  a  craindre,"  Mallet  wrote  to  Vienna,  "  de  cette 
classe  d'idiots  et  d'dquilibristes  qui  dans  les  Conseils  jouent  le  role 
de  danseurs  de  corde  et,  opinant  sans  cesse  pour  les  temperaments, 
finiront  par  culbuter  leur  Assembled  et  se  casser  le  cou  a  eux-memes." 


The  Directory,  or  rather  Barras  and  two  of  his 
colleagues,  had  on  their  side  all  but  public  opinion. 
They  had  unity  of  purpose,  and  the  old  Jacobins  still 
organised  and  roused  to  a  pitch  of  fury  by  the  in- 
considerate proceedings  of  the  Royalists  ;  above  all 
they  had  the  armies  of  Bonaparte  in  Italy  and  Hoche 
in  the  Vendee  openly  proclaiming  their  defection  from 
the  legislative  body  hitherto  all-powerful  in  France, 
and  their  readiness  to  march  to  the  assistance  of  the 

With  all  his  confidence  in  Pichegru  Mallet  du  Pan 
was  fully  alive  to  the  fact  that  the  Directory  could  rely 
on  a  greater  figure  than  that  general.  Weeks  before, 
in  letters  to  Sainte-Aldegonde  (29th  April  and  7th  May) 
he  had  written  :  "  You  will  see  the  reaction  of  the 
Austrian  peace  in  the  interior.  Hoche  and  his  Franks, 
Bonaparte  and  his  Vandals,  will  be  let  loose  on  France  ; 
they  will  make  short  work  I  promise  you  of  mutinous 
journalists,  orators,  legislators  and  citizens.  .  .  .  The 
Directory  and  the  Republicans  count  on  Bonaparte 
to  re-establish  them."1  These  anticipations  proved 
correct  ;  the  Directory  turned  first  to  Hoche,  and 
brought  him  to  Paris  in  July  as  Minister  of  War, 
but  the  Councils  managed  to  get  rid  of  him  on  the 
technical  ground  that  he  was  under  the  legal  age  for 

1  After  Fructidor,  and  again  after  Brumaire,  the  Royalists  clung 
to  the  idea  that  Bonaparte  would  play  the  part  of  Monk.  Mallet  du 
Pan  never  shared  this  idea,  although  he  had  in  the  preceding  March 
compared  the  condition  of  France  to  that  of  England  after  Crom- 
well's death.  "  Son  ambition  depasse  de  beaucoup  ses  lumieres,  il 
est  sans  vertu,  sans  honneur,  sans  probite,  sans  bonne  foi  .  .  .  il  y  a 
loin  de  ce  caractere  de  celui  du  sage  Monk.  .  .  .  Pichegru  etait 
honnete  homme.  Nous  ne  le  retrouverons  de  longtemps  "  (Letter 
to  Marshal  de  Castries,  $th  Oct.  1797). 


that  office  ;  and  finally  Bonaparte  came  to  their  assist- 
ance by  despatching  from  Italy  Augereau,  who  arrived 
in  Paris  proclaiming  that  he  "  had  been  sent  to  kill  the 
Royalists  !  "  The  coup  cC&at  of  the  i8th  of  Fructidor 
followed  in  due  course  ;  the  victory  remained  in  the 
hands  of  the  Republicans,  but  the  Republic  itself  had 
received  its  death-blow.  "  One  thing  only  is  certain," 
wrote  Mallet  du  Pan,1  "namely,  that  the  i8th  of 
Fructidor  has  destroyed  the  Republic  and  the  consti- 
tution by  overturning  the  fundamental  system  of  the 
sovereignty  of  the  people  and  of  the  national  repre- 

Mallet  du  Pan,  as  we  have  seen,  was  one  of  the 
first  to  perceive  that  the  probable  outcome  of  the 
Revolution  would  be  a  dictatorship.  The  i3th  of 
Vend^miaire  had  been  ominous  for  the  fate  of  the 
Republic  as  the  first  occasion  on  which  military  force 
had  been  summoned  to  the  assistance  of  the  civil 
power,  the  i8th  of  Fructidor  repeated  the  warning 
in  still  more  emphatic  fashion,  and  a  month  later  he 
wrote  : 2  "  In  any  case  I  see  that  we  are  destined 
sooner  or  later  to  pass  through  the  terrors  of  anarchy 
to  a  military  usurpation  ".  No  more  accurate  forecast 
of  the  history  of  the  remaining  months  of  the  century 
could  have  been  penned.  But  while  Mallet  thus  per- 
ceived the  imminence  of  a  dictatorship,  he  failed  to 
distinguish  the  dictator  in  the  marked  fashion  which 
might  have  been  expected.  "  Dictatorship  is  in 
the  air,  but  woe  to  the  rash  man  who  aspires  to  the 
fatal  crown !  Bonaparte  himself  simulates  modesty 

1  Correspondence  for  Vienna,  letter  of  6th  Oct.  1797. 

2  Letter  to  De  Castries,  5th  Oct.  1797. 


and    unconcern ;    devoured  by  a    boundless    ambition 
he  is  reduced  to  disguise  it."  l 

Mallet  du  Pan  has,  indeed,  been  severely  and 
somewhat  unjustly  criticised  for  his  supposed  failure 
to  recognise  the  one  figure  which  for  all  after 
history  gives  the  keynote  of  this  chaotic  period. 
He  does  not  even  mention  Bonaparte's  share  in  the 
coup  cTEtat  of  Vendemiaire,  and  his  railing  remarks 
on  the  conduct  of  the  campaign  of  1 796  read  strangely 
enough  in  the  light  of  later  events  and  betray  but 
little  appreciation  of  the  fact  that,  by  his  military  and 
diplomatic  achievements  in  Italy,  Bonaparte  had  de- 
finitely taken  his  place  in  history. 

'  Ce  petit  bamboche,'  he  wrote,  '  a  cheveux  eparpil- 
16s,  ce  batard  de  mandrin  que  les  rheteurs  des  Conseils 
appellent  jeune  heVos  et  vainqueur  d' Italic,  expiera 
promptement  sa  gloire  de  tre"teau,  son  inconduite,  ses 
vols,  ses  fusillades,  ses  insolentes  pasquinades.' 

Next  year  he  is  the  "instrument  of  the  Direc- 
tory and  the  Jacobins  to  intimidate  the  country"; 
and  many  observations  of  this  kind  might  be  quoted  to 
show  that  Mallet  at  this  time  little  anticipated  the  role 
which  the  young  republican  general  was  to  play,  though 
he  described  him  in  September  1 796  as  '  le  mortel  le 
plus  temeraire,  le  plus  actif  qu'il  y  ait ;  il  a  une  tete  de 
salpetre  et  des  jambes  de  cerf\ 

The  toleration  which  springs  from  a  cynical  dis- 
position, or  from  a  knowledge  of  the  baseness  and 
shallowness  of  human  nature,  is  perhaps  necessary 
to  enable  a  man  to  estimate  fairly  the  qualities  which 
so  often  lead  to  the  highest  success  in  life.  Mallet 
du  Pan,  more  moralist  than  man  of  the  world,  more 

1  Correspondence  for  Vienna,  letter  of  6th  Oct.  1797. 


politician  than  philosopher,  could  not  readily  yield  his 
admiration  to  genius  divorced  from  principle ;  or  to 
the  personification  of  that  militant  Jacobinism  which 
he  had  made  it  his  mission  to  oppose.  As  a  writer  he 
was  perhaps  less  successful  in  seizing  the  character  of 
individual  men  than  in  depicting  and  analysing  the 
motives  of  parties  and  factions.  The  Revolution,  in- 
deed, had  so  far  failed  to  bring  to  the  front  one 
commanding  spirit,  and  the  evident  mediocrity  of  all 
the  actors  he  was  called  upon  to  criticise  confirmed 
him  in  the  conviction  that  the  course  of  history  was 
little  influenced  by  the  characters  of  individuals.  '// 
riy  a  plus  d'kommes,  il  riy  a  que  des  dvenements? 
It  was  impossible,  indeed,  to  attribute  the  course  of 
events  to  any  profoundly  combined  plan  of  any  indi- 
vidual or  party.  "Their  very  crimes  were  impromptu." 
They  were  all  alike  the  victims  of  a  movement  which 
they  could  not  stop,  whose  incendiary  force  they  were 
obliged  to  use.  "  It  is  not  Bonaparte,  nor  Sieyes,  nor 
Merlin  who  reigns,  it  is  the  irresistible  movement  which 
the  Revolution  impresses  upon  men  and  affairs."  It 
must  be  remembered  also  that  Bonaparte  had  so  far 
given  no  indication  of  the  desire  to  restore  order  to 
France  which  Mallet  was  later  to  recognise  and  to 
applaud  ;  and  that  the  qualities  of  statesmanship  which 
he  had  extolled  in  Frederick  the  Great1  had  not  yet 
appeared  in  the  character  of  the  successful  soldier  of 
fortune.  What  impressed  him  most  was  the  undoubted 
combination  in  Bonaparte's  character  of  ambition 

1  In  1793  Mallet  du  Pan  had  selected  Frederick  the  Great, 
Pombal  and  Franklin  as  the  three  statesmen  of  the  eighteenth  century 
who  had  been  able  to  foresee,  to  prepare  and  to  guide  events 
(Considerations,  Preface,  iv.). 


and  of  charlatanism ;  and  his  writings  abound  at  this 
time  in  passages  contrasting  the  fine  sentiments  and 
sophistries  of  the  '  General  Rheteur '  with  his  total 
disregard  of  truth  and  principle.  Napoleon's  career 
must  be  judged  as  a  whole  with  its  failure  as  well 
as  its  success ;  but  even  if  Mallet  over-emphasised 
the  flaws  in  the  character  of  a  great  popular  hero, 
a  contemporary  may  well  be  pardoned  for  not  seeing 
in  the  early  life  of  such  men  all  the  signs  of  future 
eminence  which  posterity  delights  to  dwell  upon.  It 
is  to  be  remembered  that  of  the  foremost  writers  of  the 
Revolution  Mallet  du  Pan  and  Rivarol  alone  shared 
the  disadvantage  of  having  given  their  ideas  to  the 
world  in  works  which,  once  printed,  it  was  impossible 
for  them  to  recall  or  retouch  ;  they  alone  wrote  of  the 
future  without  the  assistance  which  actual  experience  of 
it  gave  to  so  many  of  the  authors  of  the  most  famous 
memoirs  and  "recollections"  of  the  time.  Even  in 
such  works  we  may  look  in  vain  for  signs  of  earlier 
appreciation ;  and  among  a  people  busy  enough  with 
the  immediate  future  but  caring  or  thinking  of  no- 
thing beyond  it,  it  may  be  doubted  whether  there  were 
many  who  took  a  juster  view  of  the  fortune  in  store 
for  Bonaparte.  Barras,  who  first  employed  him,  had 
certainly  no  idea  of  abdicating  in  his  favour.  The 
Directory  indeed  feared  him,  but  only  as  they  feared 
all  their  armies  and  generals,  as  they  feared  Hoche 
and  Pichegru.  Mallet  du  Pan  saw  at  any  rate  that 
the  Directorial  coup  de  main  of  Fructidor  1797  had 
destroyed  the  illusion  of  republican  constitutionalism, 
and  paved  the  way  for  the  rule  of  a  single  man ;  that 
the  "  first  general,  the  first  accredited  chieftain  who 
could  raise  the  standard  of  revolt,  might  carry  half 


the  country  with  him  ".  Bonaparte  was  not  yet  strong 
enough,  or  too  astute,  to  come  forward,  and  Mallet 
might  be  excused  in  thinking  that  unless  some  new 
theatre  of  war  presented  itself,  his  chances  were  gone, 
at  a  time  when  none  but  his  own  entourage  of  military 
adventurers  believed  in  his  destiny  and  when  he  him- 
self, fearing  his  grande  nation  much  more  than  the 
princes  and  generals  of  Europe,  was  obliged  to  under- 
take the  Egyptian  expedition  because  his  position 
was  untenable  at  home. 

Whatever  may  be  thought  of  Mallet  du  Pan's 
opinions  on  this  subject,  he  would  undoubtedly  have 
been  prudent  to  keep  them  to  himself.  But  want  of 
courage  was  never  among  his  failings,  and  he  chose 
the  moment  when  the  struggle  between  the  two  parties 
in  the  Government  was  at  its  height  for  a  public  attack 
on  the  Directory  and  their  victorious  general  in  the 
shape  of  three  letters  in  the  Quotidienne,  addressed  to 
Dumolard  a  member  of  the  Five  Hundred,  on  the 
aff reuses  histoires  of  Venice  and  Genoa.  These  letters 
were  intended  to  strengthen  the  hands  of  the  moderates 
who  made  them  the  basis  of  discussion  in  the  Council, 
and  to  arouse  public  opinion,  lulled  by  the  vision  of 
the  approaching  peace,  to  a  sense  of  the  unalterably 
menacing  character  of  the  foreign  policy  of  the  existing 
French  Government.  Mallet's  trumpet-call  made  a 
considerable  sensation  in  Paris,  but  as  things  turned 
out  its  principal  result  was  to  stimulate  the  efforts  of 
the  army  in  support  of  the  Directory,  and  to  bring 
down  upon  his  own  head  the  persecution  which  was 
to  drive  him  from  his  native  country.1  It  so  incensed 

1  The  editor  of  the  Quotidtenne,  M.  Michaud,  had  signed  Mallet's 
name  to  the  letters  without  asking  his  permission. 


Bonaparte  that  he  sent  for  Haller,  a  Bernese  who  was 
his  commissary  and  Proveditore,  and  told  him  that 
unless  Mallet  du  Pan  was  immediately  expelled  from 
Berne  his  countrymen  would  sooner  or  later  rue  the 
protection  they  gave  him.  The  sequel  may  be  told  in 
the  younger  Mallet's  words  : — 

"  By  the  treaties  between  Berne  and  Geneva,  my 
father  was  a  combourgeois  of  Berne,  and  had  a  right  of 
residence  and  protection  in  the  canton  ;  but  in  such 
times  as  those  to  which  I  am  alluding,  those  claims 
were  not  likely  to  be  regarded.  The  question  whether 
my  father  should  be  desired  to  quit  Berne  was  twice 
brought  forward  in  the  Secret  Council,  and  twice  de- 
cided in  the  negative  ;  but  was  ultimately  carried  on  a 
third  motion  to  that  effect  made  towards  the  end  of 
June  1797.  My  father  had  then  resided  upwards  of 
four  years  at  Berne,  where  he  was  much  respected, 
and  when  this  decision  became  public  it  was  univers- 
ally censured. 

"  The  notification  of  it  to  my  father  had  been  accom- 
panied by  many  expressions  of  esteem  and  regret,  and 
an  assurance  that  he  might  stay  as  long  as  he  should 
find  it  convenient  with  a  view  to  his  future  arrange- 
ments :  and  when  the  measure  had  been  stigmatised 
by  public  opinion,  my  father  was  further  informed  that 
the  decision  of  the  council  would  not  be  followed  up  if 
he  chose  to  remain.  There  was,  however,  no  longer 
any  safety  for  him  at  Berne,  and  he  was  the  last  man 
in  the  world  to  solicit  any  such  favour. 

"  Among  other  letters  addressed  to  him  on  this 
occasion l  I  have  one  from  the  Avoyer  de  Steiguer, 

1  His  friend  Baron  d'Erlach  was  the  first  to  announce  the  decision 
of  the  Secret  Council:  "Je  suis,  mon  cher  Mallet,  au  de"sespoir  de 
ce  que  je  suis  charge"  de  vous  annoncer.  Dans  mon  indignation 
je  m'abstiens  de  toute  reflexion".  Later,  on  the  zyth  of  July,  he 
wrote  describing  Bonaparte's  reception  of  Wurstenberguer,  one  of  the 


expressing  in  terms  of  great  mortification  and  regret 
how  deeply  he  felt  this  act  of  weakness  and  injustice. 
Another  Bernois,  M.  de  Bonstetten,  of  a  great  patrician 
family  and  whom  I  have  already  mentioned  as  dis- 
tinguished for  his  literary  acquirements,  the  moderation 
of  his  character,  and  the  charm  of  his  society,  hearing 
after  my  father's  departure  that  my  mother  was  obliged 
to  change  houses  for  the  short  time  we  remained  at 
Berne,  pressed  her  to  accept  his  country  residence. 
'I  should  consider  myself,'  says  he,  'the  happiest  of 
my  countrymen  if  I  could  soften  in  your  minds  the 
impression  of  our  criminal  weakness  towards  M. 
Mallet.'  He  hoped  my  father  would  forget  the  treat- 
ment he  had  received,  and  added,  '  I  wish  I  could  hope 
myself  to  forget  it'. 

"  This  was  the  first  of  a  series  of  improper  con- 
cessions made  to  the  French  Government.  From  that 
time  they  followed  apace ;  for  a  principle  had  been 
admitted,  not  unusual  in  small  and  weak  States,  but 
nevertheless  as  yet  unknown  to  the  proud  government 
of  Berne,  of  giving  way  to  intimidation.  No  one 
understood  better  than  the  revolutionary  rulers  of 
France  how  to  avail  themselves  of  the  power  of  this 
screw,  which  they  never  ceased  working  until  they  had 
accomplished  the  ruin  of  the  Swiss  Confederacy."  * 

The  disaster  of  Fructidor  had  been  a  rude  awaken- 
ing to  the  Princesse  d'He"nin's  coterie  in  London  many 
of  whom  were  now  at  an  end  of  their  resources,  and 
Malouet  wrote  asking  for  his  friend's  influence  at  the 
court  of  Vienna  to  procure  for  him  the  post  of  Naval 

Bernese  instigators  of  Mallet's  expulsion  :  "  II  en  a  etc"  fort  bien  re9u,  et 
Bonaparte  lui  ayant  demands'  s'il  y  avail  des  Emigre's  a  Lugano,  lui 
a  tout  de  suite  et  sans  attendre  sa  re"ponse  fait  de  grands  remer- 
ciments  de  votre  renvoi  et  de  grandes  plaintes  centre  vous.  Ainsi 
voila  Bonaparte  votre  ennemi  personnel"  (Sayous,  ii.,  308,  311). 

1  Reminiscences. 


Intendant  in  the  Adriatic.  But  Mallet  du  Pan's  own 
situation  was  now  such  as  to  occupy  all  his  thoughts. 
For  more  than  a  year  he  had  foreseen  that  he  would 
not  long  remain  unmolested  in  Switzerland,  and  had 
cast  about  for  a  place  of  refuge  elsewhere.  But,  as  he 
said,  it  would  be  a  favour  to  obtain  from  the  Empress 
a  hut  in  Siberia,  and  he  had  preferred  to  take  his 
chance,  with  the  remark  '  Qui  diable  peut  etre  attache" 
&  la  vie  f  Ce  nest  pas  moi,  je  vous  en  riponds ! '  The 
time  had  now  come  when  a  decision  must  be  taken. 
The  Peace  of  Campo  Formio  (October  1797)  had  left 
Italy  and  the  neutral  States  at  the  mercy  of  Bonaparte, 
one  of  whose  first  measures  had  been  the  annexation 
of  the  Valteline  and  other  confederate  Italian  States 
to  the  Cisalpine  Republic.  It  was  therefore  clear  that 
the  only  safe  course  was  to  quit  Switzerland.  The 
Duke  of  Brunswick,  on  hearing  how  he  was  situated, 
pressed  him  to  come  to  Wolfenbiittel  and  join  his  friend 
Mounier  ;  and  Miiller,  the  Swiss  historian  and  Austrian 
Aulic  councillor,  entreated  him  not  to  settle  his  future 
residence  until  he  had  written  to  Vienna  and  suggested 
to  his  Court  the  propriety  of  making  Mallet  du  Pan 
such  an  offer  as  might  induce  him  to  repair  to  the 
Austrian  capital.  Meanwhile,  leaving  his  son  who 
had  now  rejoined  him  in  charge  of  his  official  cor- 
respondence, Mallet  du  Pan  set  out  in  September 
in  search  of  a  retreat.  He  described  his  tedious  and 
unsuccessful  wanderings  to  his  friend  Sainte-Alde- 
gonde  (i3th  November):  "Obliged  to  quit  Berne,  a 
wanderer  through  Switzerland,  freezing  with  terror  all 
these  cowardly  Swiss  people  wherever  I  presented 
myself,  unable  to  take  a  decision  while  the  issue  of 
peace  or  war  remained  unsettled,  wasting  my  time  and 


money  in  travelling  backwards  and  forwards,  away  from 
my  family,  heartbroken  by  the  late  events  in  France,  I 
have  had  plenty  of  time  to  school  myself  into  stoicism. 
It  is  at  least  an  advantage  to  have  become  convinced 
that  I  must  cease  to  ruin  myself  by  defending  people 
qui  vous  egorgent  en  skgorgeant.  ...  I  am  irrevocably 
determined  to  settle  in  England  in  the  spring." 

"  At  Zurich,"  writes  the  younger  Mallet,  "  where  he 
had  been  so  well  received  in  July,  the  tables  were  already 
turned.  The  Grand  Council  became  uneasy  on  his 
remaining  there  a  week  or  ten  days  ;  and  it  was  settled, 
with  a  view  of  concealing  the  circumstance  from  the 
knowledge  of  the  French  minister,  that  his  name  should 
be  omitted  in  the  daily  returns  made  from  the  inn  at 
which  he  was  staying.  Whilst  he  was  at  Zurich  several 
proscribed  members  of  the  Council  of  Ancients,  who 
had  escaped  from  France,  came  to  Zurich  under  feigned 
names.  Amongst  them  was  the  celebrated  Portalis 
and  his  son,  who  made  themselves  known  to  my  father, 
and  from  whom  he  learnt  many  particulars  of  the  disas- 
trous termination  of  their  hopes.  From  Zurich  my 
father  went  to  Constance,  but  finding  it  full  of  French 
emigrants  he  determined  at  once  on  wintering  at 
Friburg  in  the  Brisgau  ;  and  wrote  to  Count  de  Thugut, 
requesting  the  Emperor's  permission  to  reside  in  his 
dominions.1  To  this  letter,  although  my  father  had 

1  "A  draft  of  this  letter  is  among  my  father's  miscellaneous  papers  ; 
it  closes  with  the  following  paragraph  :  '  Votre  Excellence  pardonnera 
mon  insistance  a  la  rigueur  de  ma  situation.  J'ose  attendre  d'Elle  et 
du  Gouvernement  de  S.M.I,  et  R.,  cette  compassion  qu'on  accorde 
a  des  innocens  dans  le  malheur,  et  que  je  reclame  a  des  litres,  qui, 
quelque  soit  le  degre  de  misere  qui  nous  est  encore  destine,  feront 
passer  mon  nom  sans  tache  a  mes  descendans.' " 

"  There  is  a  stamp  of  elevation  of  mind  in  all  my  father's  letters, 
and  a  respect  for  himself  which  he  never  allows  his  correspondents, 
whatever  may  be  their  rank,  to  forget"  (J.  L.  Mallet).  Thugut,  it 
should  be  added,  always  detested  Mallet  du  Pan. 


been  in  communication  with  the  court  for  upwards  of 
three  years,  no  answer  was  ever  returned.  But  the 
Baron  de  Sumarau,  Governor  of  the  Brisgau,  a  spirited 
old  man,  took  upon  himself  to  accede  to  my  father's 
wishes,  and  granted  him  the  desired  permission  in  the 
most  handsome  and  flattering  terms.  We  accordingly 
bade  adieu  to  Switzerland  to  seek  somewhere  in  the  wide 
world  that  protection  and  security  which  our  own  native 
land  no  longer  afforded.  To  Friburg,  however,  we 
proceeded  in  the  first  instance  ;  a  pretty  town  with  a 
handsome  church,  situated  between  the  Rhine  and  the 
Black  Forest,  but  too  far  from  either  to  derive  much 
beauty  or  advantage  from  those  fine  natural  circum- 
stances. It  had  been  occupied  several  times  by  the 
French  armies  in  the  course  of  the  war,  and  the  house 
we  took  for  the  winter  exhibited  many  signs  of  having 
been  the  abode  of  military  guests.  War  and  its  attend- 
ant habits  are  destructive  of  order  and  decency  and  the 
whole  train  of  Dutch  virtues.  A  few  days'  occupation 
of  a  country,  or  even  a  march  through  it,  often  destroys 
the  civilising  effects  of  many  years  ;  and  yet,  such  is  the 
animating  effect  of  warlike  circumstances  upon  the  mind, 
that  whenever  Austrian  regiments  passed  through  the 
town,  which  they  frequently  did,  with  their  martial  air, 
magnificent  bands  of  music  and  all  the  apparatus  of  real 
war,  it  required  some  effort  to  withdraw  the  senses  and 
imagination  from  the  scene,  and  to  restrain  the  rising 
passions."  l 

At  Friburg  the  family  found  themselves  in  a  kind 
of  desert,  without  resources  or  advantages  save  that  of  a 
position  between  the  centre  of  events  in  France  and 
Switzerland,  an  important  matter  for  Mallet  du  Pan 
who  still  continued  his  work  of  correspondence.  Their 
winter,  however,  was  not  to  be  without  the  satisfaction 
which  some  congenial  society  afforded,  for  hardly  had 

1  Reminiscences. 


they  settled  in  their  new  home  when  several  Emigres 
and  victims  of  the  recent  coup  d?  £tat  applied  to  Mallet 
du  Pan  to  obtain  permission  from  Baron  de  Sumarau 
to  reside  in  the  town  for  the  winter.  Among  others, 
the  Abbes  de  Lisle  and  Georgel  were  allowed  to  come 
to  Friburg,  but  Portalis  and  his  son  with  their  friend 
Gau,  one  of  the  members  of  the  Five  Hundred,  were 
relegated  to  an  obscure  neighbouring  village  in  the 
Black  Forest,  and  even  this  was  considered  a  great 
favour  to  emigres  of  so  recent  a  date. 

"  The  Abb£  de  Lisle  was  our  daily  guest,  and  his 
natural  vivacity  and  agreeable  conversation  made  us 
forget  everything  else  for  the  time.  He  was  an  abbe 
de  salon  who  had  lived  in  the  best  society  of  Paris, 
and  possessed  an  inexhaustible  fund  of  anecdote,  which 
he  told  in  a  graceful  and  lively  manner.  He  was  like- 
wise always  ready  to  recite  passages  from  his  works,  a 
task  which  he  performed  with  great  spirit  and  feeling. 
But  notwithstanding  his  genius  and  social  accomplish- 
ments, the  Abbe  de  Lisle  was  the  merest  child  that 
ever  lived  ;  amused  with  any  bauble  ;  on  some  sub- 
jects quite  inaccessible  to  reason  ;  a  creature  of  caprice 
and  passion.  On  hearing  him  describe  the  green 
and  white  pasteboard  cabriolet  with  which  he  dashed 
along  the  Boulevards  at  Paris,  one  might  have  taken 
him  for  an  Eton  boy  let  loose  from  school ;  and  when 
he  raved  about  the  Revolution,  for  an  echappe  from 
Bicetre.  All  that  he  saw  in  that  great  event  was  the 
loss  of  his  abbey :  men,  measures,  opinions,  times, 
were  all  confounded  in  his  mind  in  one  indistinguishable 
mass,  through  which  he  could  discern  nothing  but  his 
lost  abbey. 

"  The  Abb6  Georgel  was  a  clever  man  of  the  world 
who  had  seen  human  affairs  through  a  far  different 
medium.  Courts,  and  diplomacy  and  intrigue  had 
been  his  sphere  of  observation.  He  had  been  secre- 



tary  to  the  Cardinal  de  Rohan,  and  an  active  agent  in 
the  disgraceful  affair  of  the  Queen's  diamond  necklace, 
which  was  considered  by  Bonaparte  as  one  of  the 
immediate  causes  of  the  Revolution."  1 

But  the  great  resource  of  both  Mallet  du  Pan  and 
his  son  was  their  intercourse  with  the  two  Portalis. 
With  the  younger  Portalis2  the  latter  struck  up  a 
friendship  which  lasted  for  fifty  years,  and  he  records 
with  delight  his  recollection  of  their  long  walks  in 
the  green  valleys  of  the  Black  Forest  along  the  hill 
streams  which  flow  towards  the  Rhine,  philosophising 
all  the  way  with  the  eagerness  and  freshness  of  youth. 

"  Portalis  and  his  son,"  he  writes,  "  occasionally  came 
from  their  retreat  to  spend  a  couple  of  days  with  us. 
They  were  natives  of  Provence,  and  their  accent  as 
well  as  the  vivacity  of  their  manner  left  no  doubt  of 
their  southern  origin.  The  father  had  been  Attorney- 
General  to  his  province  previously  to  the  Revolution  ; 
and  considerations  of  personal  safety  had  led  him  to 
Paris  at  a  later  period.  His  influence  in  the  Council 
of  Ancients  had  drawn  upon  him  the  enmity  of  the 
Directory,  notwithstanding  the  moderation  of  his  prin- 
ciples and  his  freedom  from  party  spirit.  On  his 
return  to  France  in  1799  he  was  immediately  made 
a  councillor  of  state,  and  was  the  principal  person 
concerned  in  the  formation  of  the  Civil  Code,  the 
most  lasting  monument  of  Bonaparte's  reign.  Portalis 
was  a  man  of  great  eloquence,  great  address,  enlarged 
views  of  philosophy  and  legislation ;  but  who  was 

1  Reminiscences. 

2  Subsequently   Minister   of  Public  Worship  under   Napoleon, 
and  under  the  Bourbons  Deputy  Keeper  of  the  Seals,  Minister  of 
Justice  in   Villele's  Ministry,  and    afterwards  at   the   head   of  the 
French  Magistracy  as  First  President  of  the  Cour  de  Cassation.     He 
was  a  man  of  great  simplicity  and  the  highest  moral  worth. 


deficient  in  political  courage.  His  attachment  to  free 
institutions,  which  was  sincere,  gave  way  at  the  latter 
period  of  his  life  to  the  less  liberal  maxims  of 
Napoleon's  government.  He  and  his  son  were  both 
religious,  and  strongly  deprecated  the  demoralising 
effects  of  the  French  school  of  philosophy.  Portalis 
had  a  striking  person  and  manner ;  grave,  impassioned, 
eloquent  in  discussion,  and  yet  playful,  familiar  and 
almost  homely  in  the  common  intercourse  of  life.  His 
voice  was  deep,  pleasing,  and  persuasive ;  his  eye- 
sight so  defective  that  he  looked  as  if  he  had  been 
blind,  and  when  pensive  he  reminded  me  of  those 
ancient  busts  in  which  the  pupil  of  the  eye  is  not 
marked."  l 

In  the  family  circle  the  Revolution  was  naturally 
the  great  theme,  and  old  Portalis,  who  had  lived 
through  that  memorable  epoch  and  personally  known 
many  of  the  dramatis  personce,  would  often  expatiate 
on  the  scenes  he  had  witnessed  with  great  force  of 
observation  and  power  of  language. 

"  Both  he  and  his  son  had  been  confined  for  fourteen 
months  in  the  Maison  de  Sante  of  Bel-Homme  in  the 
Faubourg  Saint-Antoine  at  Paris,  which  had  been  con- 
verted into  a  prison.  Certain  facilities  were  given  in 
these  houses  which  could  not  be  had  in  the  common 
prisons,  and  it  was  a  sort  of  favour  to  be  admitted 
there.  Among  the  persons  confined  at  Bel-Homme 
were  several  of  the  principal  noblesse  of  Brittany — M. 
de  Boisgelin,  former  President  of  the  States  of  that 
Province ;  M.  de  Noyant,  likewise  a  considerable  man 
at  Rennes  ;  and  also  M.  de  Nicolai,  President  of  the 
Chambre  des  Comptes  in  the  Parliament  of  Paris. 
The  utmost  punctilio  was  observed  among  these 
personages ;  regular  introductions  were  necessary  to 

1  Reminiscences. 


be  admitted  into  the  different  circles.  The  Noblesse 
kept  aloof  and  did  not  mix  with  the  Roturiers. 
M.  de  Nicolai,  who  was  executed  after  a  few 
months'  detention,  had  brought  from  his  house  a 
part  of  his  library,  some  furniture,  and  2,000  bottles 
of  wine.  Other  wealthy  individuals  had  followed  his 
example.  After  breakfasting  in  their  respective  apart- 
ments every  one  dressed  about  eleven  o'clock,  and 
walked  in  the  garden  when  the  weather  permitted. 
Two  o'clock  was  the  dinner  hour ;  a  traiteur  had  the 
custom  of  the  house.  At  four  o'clock  the  messenger 
of  death  entered  and  summoned  his  victims  ;  a  general 
gloom  and  apprehension  preceded  this  appalling  mo- 
ment, but  as  soon  as  the  unfortunate  individual  whose 
last  hour  had  struck  had  taken  leave  of  his  friends, 
all  was  life  again  at  the  Bel-Homme.  At  five  o'clock, 
a  second  and  more  careful  toilet  took  place  ;  the  different 
circles  met,  and  the  evening  was  spent  very  much  as 
if  the  same  persons  had  assembled  at  their  respective 
Hotels,  in  drinking  tea,  playing  cards,  trictrac,  and 
conversation.  The  precarious  tenure  under  which 
these  inmates  of  the  Half-way  House  to  the  Guillotine 
held  their  lives  and  property  did  not  in  any  manner 
soften  their  old  political  animosities,  and  on  one  oc- 
casion when  a  former  Intendant  of  Brittany  who  had 
quarrelled  with  the  Provincial  States  was  brought  in, 
and  a  question  arose  whether  he  should  be  admitted 
into  M.  de  Boisgelin's  circle,  a  meeting  of  several 
members  of  the  States  was  held  in  the  apartment  of 
the  old  President  de  Noyant,  at  which  it  was  re- 
solved that  they  would  not  give  their  vote  to  M.  de 
Boisgelin  at  the  next  election  of  First  President,  in 
case  he  visited  the  Intendant ;  which  threat  had  the 
desired  effect." x 

The  factious  advocate,  Linguet,  who  had  been  the 
object  of  Mallet  du  Pan's  youthful  enthusiasm,  was  also 
at  Bel-Homme. 

1  Reminiscences. 


"The  Parliament  people  all  shunned  him,  and  he 
lived  in  a  sort  of  solitude  amidst  the  dissipations  of 
the  place.  On  his  summons  being  brought  him  he 
came  to  the  apartment  of  Portal  is  with  the  warrant 
in  his  hand  to  ask  him  whether  he  was  required  to 
appear  under  an  act  of  accusation,  or  only  as  a 
witness.  Portalis,  who  knew  the  form  of  these  in- 
struments, told  him  that  his  own  trial  was  coming 
on.  He  received  the  intelligence  with  calm,  went  and 
dressed  himself,  took  some  refreshment  with  his  wife, 
and  left  the  prison,  never  to  return.  These  scenes 
were  of  daily  occurrence,  save  on  the  Decadi,  when  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  did  not  sit  and  the  guillotine 
suspended  its  toils.  The  interval  between  the  day 
preceding  the  Decadi  and  the  following  morning  was 
therefore  a  respite,  and  the  schoolboys  enjoyed  their 
holiday  as  if  the  hand  of  the  executioner  was  for  ever 
stayed.  Such  modes  of  behaviour  are  contrary  to  all 
the  higher  notions  of  propriety,  and  yet  they  were  not 
inconsistent  with  the  most  heroic  feelings.  These  very 
people  left  their  frivolities  for  the  scaffold  with  such 
stoical  unconcern  that  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety 
became  apprehensive  of  the  effect  which  such  unheard 
of  fortitude  might  have  on  the  spectators  and  the 
people.  In  some  prisons  therefore  the  persons  whose 
fate  was  decided  were  kept  on  bread  and  water  for 
several  days  before  their  execution,  and  a  proposal 
was  actually  made  in  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety 
to  bleed  their  victims  previously  to  their  appearing  in 
public." l 

Ancient  history  however  did  not,  we  may  be  sure, 
engross  the  thoughts  of  the  party,  occupied  as  they 
were  with  the  pressing  anxieties  of  the  moment.  The 
Directory  had  resorted  to  the  harshest  and  most  op- 
pressive methods  at  home  and  abroad,  and  had  resolved 

1  Reminiscences. 


on  the  conquest  and  "regeneration"  of  Switzerland, 
which  they  were  proceeding  to  carry  out  with  their 
usual  combination  of  intrigue  and  violence.  Their 
next  step  after  the  banishment  of  Mallet  du  Pan  was 
a  note  from  the  French  Minister  demanding  the  dis- 
missal of  Wickham,  the  British  Minister,  and  after  this 
requisition  succeeded  requisition,  and  concession  fol- 
lowed concession. 

"  Bonaparte,  who  passed  rapidly  through  the 
country  on  his  way  to  the  Congress  of  Rastadt, 
let  out  here  and  there,  in  his  usual  emphatic  manner, 
expressions  calculated  to  shake  and  disorganise  the 
tottering  fabric  ;  and  in  the  month  of  December  all 
further  pretences  were  laid  aside,  the  French  troops 
took  possession  of  the  Bishopric  of  Basle,  and  the 
Directory,  by  a  decree  of  the  28th  of  that  month,  made 
the  Government  of  Berne  responsible  for  the  personal 
safety  and  property  of  its  revolted  subjects.  The 
scenes  that  followed  are  now  matters  of  history.  The 
healing  hand  of  time  and  of  good  government  has 
(1830)  removed  all  actual  traces  of  these  lamentable 
events,  when  a  prosperous  and  happy  people  were 
overrun  by  a  rude  soldiery  who  had  themselves  but 
a  few  years  before  learnt  the  art  of  war  in  defence  of 
their  country  and  freedom.  It  was  not  Principalities 
that  they  came  to  destroy,  but  the  mountain  Chalet,  and 
the  peaceful  shepherd  and  his  flocks.  I  am  aware  of  the 
pretexts  for  this  unprovoked  and  unjustifiable  aggres- 
sion. There  were  the  wrongs  of  the  Pays  de  Vaud,  if 
wrongs  they  can  be  called  ;  there  was  the  aristocracy  of 
Berne  and  its  treasures ;  and  the  chance  that  more 
popular  forms  of  Government  might  be  established  in 
some  Cantons.  Nor  do  I  mean  to  contend  that  im- 
provements have  not  followed,  and  Switzerland  is  not 
again  happy  and  independent,  and  probably  more 
united  than  before  ;  but  these  blessings  are  in  the  main 


due  to  the  destruction  of  the  Imperial  Government  and 
of  that  Iron  Hand,  guided  by  unrivalled  genius,  that 
would  not  have  left  a  vestige  of  freedom  in  Europe, 
had  it  been  as  cautious  as  it  was  powerful.  Every 
day's  post  brought  us  some  distressing  intelligence, 
some  deep  and  heart-rending  tale  of  woe  and  de- 
struction. All  that  we  held  dear  was  involved  in 
the  greatest  of  political  calamities — foreign  invasion 
embittered  by  civil  war.  Madame  de  Bonstetten, 
who  was  at  Interlachan  to  the  last,  wrote  to  me 
regularly.  She  was  surrounded  by  manifestations  of 
loyalty  and  public  spirit,  the  Oberland  being  all  in 
arms ;  but  her  eye  was  fixed  on  the  Councils  of  the 
Republic  where  she  saw  nothing  but  irresolute  and 
wavering  opinions.  As  the  French  advanced  a  number 
of  Swiss  families  fled  to  Friburg,  where  they  all  came 
to  lament  with  my  father  the  calamities  of  which  their 
treatment  of  him  had  been  the  first  signal." 

The  agitation  and  grief  with  which  Mallet  du  Pan 
watched  the  collapse  of  the  Swiss  resistance  may  be 
imagined.  "  They  might  have  changed  the  face  of 
Europe,  they  have  preferred  to  dishonour  themselves 
by  the  most  stupid  and  unworthy  servility."  The 
warlike  spirit  of  the  people  who  only  asked  to  be  led 
against  the  enemy  was  rendered  useless  by  the  timid  and 
temporising  policy  of  the  Governments,  and  on  the  ist  of 
February  1798  he  writes  to  Sainte-Aldegonde  :  "  Swit- 
zerland is  finished ;  we  shall  soon  be  able  to  say  the 
same  of  Europe.  .  .  .  Berne  has  bitterly  repented  of  its 
treatment  of  me.  A  month  ago  I  was  entreated  to 
return  and  take  up  my  work  there."  The  battle  of 
Fraubriinnen  on  the  5th  of  March  vindicated  the  patri- 
otic courage  of  the  nation  but  extinguished  all  further 

1  Reminiscences. 


hopes  of  resistance  in  Switzerland,  and  shortly  after- 
wards the  ancient  Republic  of  Geneva  met  the  fate 
which  Mallet  du  Pan  had  long  foreseen,  and  which  its 
credulous  citizens  fancied  they  had  averted  by  their 
adoption  of  the  revolution  and  their  cringing  sub- 
mission to  their  mighty  neighbour.  On  the  i6th  of 
April,  in  spite  of  repeated  assurances  from  the  French 
Government  and  from  Bonaparte  himself  that  the 
independence  of  Geneva  would  be  respected,  the  city 
was  entered  by  1,800  French  soldiers  and  annexed 
to  the  French  Republic  ;  and  by  the  first  article  of 
the  Treaty  of  Union,  Mallet  du  Pan  with  two  other 
Genevese  was  expressly  deprived  of  the  honour  of 
being  at  any  time  admitted  to  French  citizenship. 

Mallet  du  Pan  had  not  waited  for  this  event  to 
determine  upon  his  future  abode.  The  cessation  of 
his  communications  with  France  deprived  him  of  the 
means  of  continuing  his  Vienna  correspondence,  a 
work  which  had  for  some  time  been  distasteful  to  him 
as  a  mere  "  ploughing  of  the  sands,"  and  the  failure  of 
this  resource  now  made  it  as  necessary  as  it  was  con- 
genial to  him  to  write  for  the  public,  and  to  carry  on  his 
struggle  against  the  Directory  openly  as  a  journalist. 
'faime  mieux  a  faire  au  public,'  he  had  written  to  his 
son  a  few  months  earlier,  'qua  tons  les  rots  de  la 
terre!  He  had  clung  to  the  hope  of  returning  to 
Paris  till  the  triumph  of  the  Directory  in  Fructidor 
convinced  him  that  a  military  despotism  was  to  be  the 
fate  of  France.  He  had  long  contemplated  offers  of  a 
settlement  which  had  come  to  him  from  friendly 
German  Princes,  but  the  condition  of  the  Continent 
now  seemed  to  him  to  promise  little  more  security  than 
that  of  France  for  the  liberty,  for  which  he  was  pining, 


to  express  and  publish  his  opinions.  "  I  have  only 
been  tolerated  here,"  he  wrote  to  De  Pradt  from  Fri- 
burg,  "  under  the  promise  of  keeping  silence."  "  Only 
England  remains  where  a  man  may  write,  speak,  think 
and  act.  There  is  my  place ;  there  is  no  other  for 
anyone  who  wishes  to  carry  on  the  war."  His  son 
thus  describes  reasons  which  finally  decided  him  on 
this  new  venture  : — 

"My  father's  health  was  impaired,  and  he  had  been 
subject  throughout  the  winter  to  a  very  painful  cough. 
He  had  also  deeply  felt  the  treatment  he  had  met  with 
at  Berne,  and  the  public  calamities  that  followed. 
Whatever  scheme  we  might  form  was  subject  to  serious 
contingencies,  and  the  retiring  to  England,  which  in 
some  respects  seemed  the  least  unpromising,  would  be 
attended  with  heavy  expense.  This  project  had  been 
first  suggested  to  us  by  a  Scotch  gentleman  at  Berne, 
Mr.  Mackintosh,  a  sensible,  well-informed  man,  who 
recommended  my  father  to  consult  his  friends  in  this 
country  as  to  the  probable  success  of  a  French  periodi- 
cal work  to  be  published  in  London  in  the  manner 
of  the  Mercure  de  France.  Mr.  Wickham  was  favour- 
able to  the  scheme,  and  had  kindly  assured  us  that 
he  would  forward  it  by  every  means  in  his  power.  I 
wrote  likewise  to  our  excellent  friend,  Mr.  John  Reeves, 
to  consult  him  on  the  subject.  Reeves  sent  my  letter 
to  the  old  Lord  Liverpool  with  whom  he  had  official 
connections,  and  also  to  Mr.  Windham,  then  Secretary 
at  War,  both  of  whom  desired  him  to  encourage  my 
father  in  his  views.  Reeves  was  an  active,  friendly 
man,  who  took  up  the  thing  warmly,  and  offered  to 
receive  us  in  his  own  house  in  Cecil  Street,  until  we 
could  make  suitable  arrangements.  It  was  no  doubt  a 
satisfaction  to  him  from  a  political  point  of  view  to 
enlist  my  father's  talents  in  the  good  cause  on  this  side 
of  the  Channel  ;  but  far  from  dissembling  the  difficulties 


of  the  undertaking,  he  warned  my  father  that  he  was 
not  to  look  in  England  for  that  sort  of  active  counte- 
nance from  the  Government,  which  Continental  States 
sometimes  afford  to  public  writers  ;  but  that  the  success 
of  the  scheme  would  in  the  main  depend  on  individual 
exertions.  Thus  encouraged  by  our  friends  we  deter- 
mined on  setting  out  for  England  in  the  spring.1  On 
this  resolution  becoming  known  to  our  emigrant  friends, 
my  father  received  all  sorts  of  proposals  for  co-operat- 
ing in  his  undertaking,  but  he  wisely  declined  them  all. 
Sainte-Aldegonde,"  he  adds,  "likewise  sent  to  my  father 
a  long  extract  from  a  letter  of  Monsieur  (afterwards 
Charles  X.),  which  did  not  reach  him  till  after  our 
arrival  in  London  ;  full  of  flattering  expressions,  and 
intimating  his  wish  that  my  father  would  join  at  Ham- 
burg the  Prince's  confidential  friend,  the  Comte  d'Escars, 
for  whom  a  King's  vessel  had  been  sent  to  conduct  him 
to  Edinburgh,  Monsieur  being  desirous  of  consulting 
my  father  on  various  subjects.  '  Les  preuves  cCattache- 
mentj  says  the  Prince,  '  quil  ma  donnees  en  plusieurs 
occasions,  me  portent  a  penser  quil  eprouverait  du 
plaisir  a  recevoir  de  nouvelles  marques  de  mon  estime 
et  de  ma  confiance'  This  was  all  very  flattering,  but 
it  would  not  have  been  advisable,  in  the  state  of  my 
father's  health,  to  have  exposed  him  to  the  fatigue 
of  such  a  voyage  ;  and,  all  circumstances  considered,  it 
was  fortunate  that  the  letter  did  not  reach  us  till  it  was 
too  late  to  comply  with  the  Prince's  desire."  2 

In  the  early  days  of  April,  therefore,  he  set  out  from 
Friburg  with  all  his  family  except  his  second  son,  who 
remained  at  Geneva  with  his  uncle,  and  his  eldest 
daughter  who  had  remained  in  Paris. 

1  "  II  n'y  a  plus  a  reculer,  il  faut  se  creer  quelques  ressources  et  se 
fixer  quelque  part.     Le  continent  ne  m'offre  que  des  persecutions, 
des   dugouts,  1'impossibilite  d'ecrire   nulle  part,  et   la  certitude   de 
mourir  de  faim."     (To  Sainte-Aldegonde,  i4th  December  1797.) 

2  Reminiscences. 


"We  purchased  a  carriage  for  the  journey,  which 
was,"  writes  the  younger  Mallet,  "  long  and  tedious,  for 
travelling  in  Germany  is  (or  was,  at  least  in  my  time) 
attended  with  more  inconvenience  than  in  any  other 
country  I  am  acquainted  with.  Bad  inns,  bad  beds 
and  bad  cookery ;  bad  roads  in  almost  all  the  inferior 
States ;  slow  and  phlegmatic  postmasters,  and  worse 
postillions.  These  things  may  be  altered  since  Napo- 
leon quickened  their  paces  and  stimulated  their  sleepy 
faculties  ;  but  they  were  very  bad  in  1 798.  We  saw 
many  agreeable,  well-built  towns  ;  many  good-looking 
heroes,  doing  duty  at  threepence  a  day  ;  and  some  fine 
country — Heidelberg  and  the  Bergstrasse  particularly." 

In  this  fashion  they  arrived  at  Brunswick,  where 
the  Duke  received  them  with  every  kindness  and 
facilitated  their  progress  to  Cuxhaven,  tracing  out  the 
route  they  were  to  follow  with  his  own  hand.  There 
they  embarked,  and  after  a  stormy  passage  of  eighty- 
two  hours,  diversified  by  an  alarm  of  pursuit  by  a 
French  privateer,  they  landed  at  Yarmouth  on  the  ist 
of  May  1798  and  soon  made  their  way  to  Mr.  Reeves' 
hospitable  house  in  Cecil  Street  in  the  Strand. 





IT  is  significant  of  the  part  played  by  England  in  the 
war  since  the  opening  days  of  the  Revolution  that  it 
should  have  attracted  but  little  of  the  attention  of  a 
writer  who  had  always  shown  a  remarkable  degree  of 
sympathy  with  her  institutions  and  knowledge  of  her 
history.  At  first,  indeed,  the  opinions  which  he,  and 
his  friends  among  the  constitutional  Royalists  who  had 
found  a  refuge  at  London  represented,  caused  his  ad- 
vice to  be  eagerly  sought,  and  he  had,  as  we  have 
seen,  been  invited  to  draw  up  memorials  for  the  British 
Cabinet,  while  he  had  formed  relations  of  a  very  cordial 
character  with  the  British  representatives  at  Brussels, 
Turin  and  Berne.  But  he  does  not  seem  to  have  long 
entertained  from  the  policy  of  Great  Britain  any  hope 
of  results  in  the  sense  of  his  recommendations  in  favour 
of  vigorous  action  in  the  field,  combined  with  diplomacy 
which  should  explain  her  objects  to  the  French  people. 
Pitt's  "dogged  determination  to  ignore  the  French 
Revolution,"  as  Lord  Rosebery  says,  had  yielded  with 
the  progress  of  the  war  to  a  "  singular  but  luckless 
energy,"  and  a  series  of  unfortunate  and  ill-planned  expe- 
ditions had  left  the  British  armies  without  a  foothold 
in  Europe,  while  naval  victories  and  colonial  conquests 


gave  colour  to  the  universal  opinion  as  to  the  selfishness 
of  British  policy.1  Pitt's  conduct  of  the  war,  never- 
theless, was  honesty  itself  compared  with  that  of  the 
Governments  whom  he  subsidised.  But  Mallet  du  Pan 
early  formed  an  unfavourable  opinion  of  the  utility  of 
the  English  alliance.  England's  extreme  unpopularity 
in  France  made  her,  in  his  opinion,  the  worst  possible 
instrument  of  the  policy  he  advocated  of  fostering  the 
counter-revolutionary  elements  in  the  country,  and  the 
brutal  conduct  of  the  British  troops  under  the  Duke  of 
York  had  drawn  from  him  a  remark,  which  the  presence 
of  the  Cossacks  in  Italy  confirmed,  that  any  army  which 
revolted  the  population  would  only  serve  the  Revolu- 
tion. For  the  same  reason  he  had  blamed  the  Comte 
d'Artois  for  following  the  British  flag,  and  stated  his 
belief  that  the  reputed  connection  of  the  Vendeans  with 
England  would  complete  the  unpopularity  of  their  cause. 
In  August  1795  he  wrote  to  Sainte-Aldegonde,  who 
had  urged  him  to  endeavour  to  diminish  the  hatred 
of  the  French  towards  England,  that  it  was  not  for  a 
private  individual  to  destroy  a  prejudice  six  centuries 
old,  a  prejudice  which  had  grown  into  fanaticism  and 
had  been  justified  by  the  conduct  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment. It  was,  he  declared,  for  that  Government  alone 
to  remove  this  deep  and  fatal  impression,  not  by  in- 

1 "  But  in  this  most  arduous  and  most  momentous  conflict,  which, 
from  its  nature,  should  have  aroused  us  to  new  and  unexampled  efforts, 
I  know  not  how  it  has  been  that  we  have  never  put  forth  half  the 
strength  which  we  have  exerted  in  ordinary  wars.  .  .  .  We  drew  back 
the  arm  of  our  military  force  which  had  never  been  more  than  half 
raised  to  oppose.  .  .  .  From  that  time  we  have  been  combating  only 
with  the  other  arm  of  our  naval  power,  .  .  .  which  struck,  almost 
unresisted,  with  blows  which  could  never  reach  the  heart  of  the  mis- 
chief" (Burke's  Regicide  Peace). 


significant  pronouncements  but  by  positive  action,  by 
recognising  the  King,  by  promising  the  restitution  of 
conquests,  by  a  formal  engagement  not  to  meddle  with 
the  integrity  and  independence  of  France. 

If  Mallet  du  Pan  was  dissatisfied  with  the  manage- 
ment of  the  warlike  operations  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment, he  was  equally  disgusted  by  Pitt's  repeated 
attempts  to  make  peace.  He  covers  Lord  Malmes- 
bury's  mission1  to  Lille,  in  July  1797,  with  ridicule, 
and  its  undignified  termination  justified  his  strictures. 
"I  am  convinced,"  he  wrote  to  De  Castries,  "of  the 
truth  of  what  Mr.  Burke  has  written  on  this  subject— 
the  revolution  must  end  or  it  will  devour  Europe.  To 
seek  safety  in  negotiation,  cest  comprimer  PEtna  avec 
des  feuilles  de papier"  But  the  day  was  at  hand  when 
the  extremity  of  the  danger  produced  by  four  years  of 
military  incapacity  and  ministerial  optimism  and  blind- 
ness, combined,  it  must  in  justice  be  added,  with  the 
well-deserved  collapse  of  continental  resistance  to  the 
Revolution,  was  to  rouse  the  British  people  from  their 
apathy  and  to  call  forth  the  high  spirit  and  dauntless 
energy  of  their  great  statesman. 

The  naval  victories  of  St.  Vincent  and  Camperdown 
alone  prevented  the  year  1797  from  being  one  of  the 
darkest  in  English  history,  and  the  younger  Mallet,  at 
that  time  in  England,  noted  the  circumstances  which 
seemed  to  portend  the  early  withdrawal  of  England 
from  the  contest  :— 

1  Mr.  Canning,  then  Under-Secretary  of  State,  writing  to  Lord 
Malmesbury  at  Lille  in  July  1797,  says  :  "We  are  soulless  and  spirit- 
less. When  Windham  says  '  We  must  not  have  peace,'  I  ask  him, 
'  Can  we  have  war?  It  is  out  of  the  question.  We  have  not  of  all 
means  that  which  is  the  most  essential — the  mind  ' "  (Malmesbury 
Memoirs,  vol.  iii.). 


"  I  cannot,"  he  wrote,  "  altogether  pass  over  the 
extraordinary  and  alarming  circumstances  which  agi- 
tated this  country  in  the  spring  of  1797 — the  mutiny 
at  the  Nore,  the  Irish  Rebellion,  and  the  stoppage 
of  the  cash  payments  of  the  Bank  of  England.  No 
crisis  that  I  remember  can  be  compared  to  this,  and 
at  no  period  have  I  witnessed  so  much  alarm  among 
all  classes  of  people.  The  measures  adopted  by  the 
Government  seemed  nearly  as  desperate,  and  as  likely 
to  prove  fatal  in  their  consequences,  as  the  dangers 
they  were  intended  to  avert ;  but  nothing  can  be  more 
unsafe  than  anticipations  in  politics,  and  on  this,  as  on 
many  other  occasions,  the  wisest  in  their  generation  are 
not  always  true  prophets." 

The  failure  of  the  negotiations,  however,  and  the 
menacing  attitude  of  the  Directory  after  Fructidor  were 
soon  to  alter  the  tone  of  public  opinion,  and  to  show 
that  Mallet  du  Pan  had  been  better  informed  than  his 
angry  critics  when  he  warned  the  British  government l 
that  they  were  for  the  first  time  about  to  become  the 
object  of  serious  attack.  Isolated  in  Europe,  for  the 
peace  of  Campo  Formio  had  deprived  her  of  the  last 
of  her  allies,  England,  the  envied  power  which  had 
really  grown  stronger  by  the  exhaustion  of  every  con- 
tinental state,  and  whose  free  constitution  was  an 
irritating  refutation  of  the  democratic  pretensions  of 
revolutionary  France,  was  now  to  be  struck  at  through 
her  credit  and  her  commerce  ;  and  Mallet,  in  indicating 
the  nature  of  the  war  to  be  waged  upon  her,  sketched 
out  the  plan  which  was  to  develop  under  Napoleon 
into  the  famous  but  futile  Continental  System. 

By  the  time  Mallet  du  Pan  arrived  in  England,  a 
complete  transformation  in  the  attitude  both  of  the 

1  Lettre  a  un  Ministre  d'Etat,  London,  1797. 


Government  and  the  people  had  been  effected  by  the 
threatening  action  of  the  Directory.  It  was  therefore 
at  a  singularly  appropriate  moment  that  the  untiring 
opponent  of  revolutionary  despotism  sought  a  home  in 
the  country  which  had  just  been  forced  into  the  position 
of  the  champion  of  the  principle  of  national  independ- 
ence. The  enthusiasm  called  forth  by  Bonaparte's 
threatened  invasion,  and  the  assembling  of  the  so- 
called  Army  of  England  on  the  opposite  coast,  had 
doubtless  prepared  Mallet  du  Pan  for  the  spectacle  of 
public  spirit  and  national  feeling  for  which  he  had  so 
often  appealed  in  vain  on  the  Continent  ;  and  he  had 
already  remarked  upon  the  fact  that  a  direct  opposi- 
tion of  principles  and  conduct  was  to  be  found  only 
between  the  free  countries  of  England  and  America 
and  the  pretended  apostles  of  liberty.  But  the  reality 
far  surpassed  his  expectations.  The  impression  it  made 
on  him  is  described,  as  his  son  remarks,  "  in  his  own 
happy  and  forcible  manner,"  in  a  letter  which  he  wrote 
to  Gallatin  at  Berlin  in  May  1 798  : — 

"  I  could  fancy  myself  in  another  world,  in  another 
century.  The  contrast  between  the  Continent  and 
England  is  astounding.  '  Et  penitus  toto  divisos  orbe 
Britannos '  is  indeed  true  of  to-day.  Across  the  sea  I  left 
Europe  in  the  throes  of  a  convulsive  effort  to  secure  at 
any  cost  a  shameful  peace.  I  left  it  in  doubt  and  in- 
decision, distracted  by  divisions  and  alarms,  incapable 
either  of  defence  or  of  union,  destitute  of  all  patriotism, 
unable  to  devise  any  common  means  of  safety.  Here, 
we  are  in  the  full  tide  of  war,  crushed  by  taxation  and 
exposed  to  the  fury  of  the  most  desperate  of  enemies, 
but  nevertheless  security,  abundance  and  energy  reign 
supreme,  alike  in  cottage  and  palace.  I  have  not  met  with 
a  single  instance  of  nervousness  or  apprehension.  The 


spectacle  presented  by  public  opinion  has  far  surpassed 
my  expectation.  The  nation  had  not  yet  learnt  to  know 
its  own  strength  or  its  resources ;  the  government  has 
taught  it  the  secret,  and  inspired  it  with  an  unbounded 
confidence  almost  amounting  to  presumption.  There 
is  a  good  deal  of  intolerance,  confined  however  to  the 
sanest  part  of  the  population.  They  detest  France, 
the  Revolution,  the  Jacobins,  the  Directory,  precisely  as 
France  hated  the  aristocrats  in  1789."  After  dwelling 
on  the  "admirable"  measures  taken  by  the  Ministry 
for  its  defence  of  the  country,  he  continues:  "You 
may  imagine  that  I  am  in  my  element,  with  no  need  of 
periphrasis  to  express  my  opinions  and  no  fear  of  exile 
if  I  am  wanting  in  respect  to  Barras  or  Merlin  de  Douai ! " 

It  was  a  simple  and  definite  issue  which  had  at  last 
aroused  popular  sentiment.  But  the  writer  already 
observed  the  absence  of  any  real  perception  of  what 
the  Revolution  meant  for  Europe.  With  all  this 
"  superb  display "  he  saw  how  little  the  question  at 
issue  was  generally  understood.  Sixty  years  before 
Voltaire  had  remarked  that  in  no  country  were  the 
sources  of  information  so  rare  as  in  England,  that  in 
none  was  there  greater  indifference  to  matters  of 
external  interest ;  and  Mallet  soon  asked  himself  how 
all  this  enthusiasm  and  energy,  how  the  calmness  and 
order  of  the  country,  how  the  discipline  and  spirit  of 
the  British  troops  and  the  supremacy  of  the  British 
fleets,  would  prevent  France  from  devouring  Europe 
bit  by  bit  and  carrying  on  her  work  of  universal  dis- 
solution. "  While  commerce  is  prosperous  too  little 
attention  is  paid  to  the  Continent,  and  there  are  national 
prejudices  on  the  subject  which  I  must  make  it  my 
business  to  remove."  To  make  better  known  in 
England  the  real  situation  abroad  was  a  task  for  which 



Mallet  was  specially  qualified.  "  I  am  treated  with 
some  confidence,"  he  wrote  to  his  friend,  " fournissez- 
moi  des  armes  !  " 

No  longer  however  with  the  old  confidence  and 
hopefulness  but  as  a  persecuted  and  embittered  op- 
ponent of  the  triumphant  Revolution  did  Mallet  du  Pan 
prepare  to  renew  the  struggle.  It  was  with  the  words, 
"  It  is  idle  to  fight  a  revolution  with  sheets  of  paper," 
that  he  had  abandoned  the  editorship  of  the  Mercure 
de  France.  His  experiences  as  adviser  of  the  French 
Princes  and  foreign  Governments  had  been  no  less 
discouraging.  Early  in  1797  he  had  told  his  son 
that  he  was  profoundly  disgusted  with  his  labours 
in  this  direction,  his  counsels  and  reflections  having 
been  continually  set  aside.  It  was  therefore  primarily 
the  necessity  imposed  on  an  exile  who  had  lost  in- 
come, savings,  library  and  all  his  worldly  possessions 
of  assuring  for  himself  and  his  family  a  means  of 
livelihood,  that  decided  him  to  enter  upon  the  editor- 
ship of  a  new  journal ;  and  with  growing  distaste 
at  the  exigencies  of  his  "detestable  scribbling,"- 
il  est  impossible  den  Ure  plus  las,  plus  ddgoute1,  plus 
accable", — he  carried  on  the  work  till  it  brought  him  to 
the  grave.  Not  that  he  would  ever  have  willingly  ac- 
quiesced in  withdrawal  from  the  contest  in  which  he 
had  been  so  deeply  engaged.  The  need  of  speaking 
what  was  in  his  mind  was  strong  to  the  end,  and  soon 
after  his  arrival  in  England  he  expressed  in  touching 
and  eloquent  words  his  gratitude  to  the  country  which 
gave  him  the  power  to  do  so  :— 

'J'ai  perdu,  avec  la  Suisse,  patrie,  parents,  amis: 
il  ne  m'en  reste  que  des  souvenirs  dechirants.  Je 
serais  peut-etre  sans  asyle,  si  le  ciel  ne  m'eut  reserve" 


un  port  ou  je  puis  accuser,  sans  les  craindre,  des  tyrans 
en  de"mence,  dont  1'orgueilleuse  impuissance  menace 
vainement  ce  dernier  boulevard  de  la  vieille  Europe. 
C'est  sous  la  protection  d'une  nation  in^branlable  que 
je  depose  ici  et  mes  re*cits  et  mes  douleurs.  Sans  sa 
magnanimite*  j'eprouverais  encore  le  tourment  du  silence. 
Jamais  trop  de  reconnaissance  ne  payera  le  bienfait 
de  cet  affranchissement. ' l 

John  Reeves,  who  received  the  whole  family  in 
his  house  in  Cecil  Street  overlooking  the  river,  was 
an  odd,  good-natured,  clever  man,  extremely  hospitable 
and  friendly,  and  although  very  decided  in  his  views 
free  from  all  personal  bitterness.  He  had  begun  life 
on  a  lawyer's  pittance  and  ended  it  with  ^"200,000, 
amassed  during  a  thirty-five  years'  tenure  of  lucrative 
offices  ;  among  them  the  post  of  Superintendent  of  the 
Alien  Office,  King's  Patentee  for  the  printing  of  Bibles 
and  Prayer  Books,  and  Chief  Justice  of  Newfoundland 
resident  in  London,  an  appointment  which  gave  rise 
to  the  comment  that  "  either  justice  was  not  neces- 
sary to  Newfoundland,  or  that  John  Reeves  was  not 
necessary  to  justice  ".  He  probably  owed  his  success 
in  life  to  his  political  connection  with  Sir  John  Scott, 
afterwards  Lord  Eldon,  during  the  proceedings  at  the 
Crown  and  Anchor  tavern  in  the  early  part  of  the 
French  Revolution,  and  his  house  was  frequented  by 
many  of  his  political  associates  who  greeted  Mallet  du 
Pan  with  great  cordiality  :  men  like  "  Mr.  John  Fowler 
and  Mr.  John  Gifford,  both  bitter  party  men,  but  from 
whom  we  received  the  very  kindest  attention  not  only 
during  my  father's  life  but  also  after  his  death  ". 

1  The  concluding  words  of  the  preface  to  his  essay  on  the  destruc- 
tion of  Swiss  liberty  (Mercure  Britannique,  2oth  Aug.  1798). 


"  Our  old  friends,"  continues  Mallet's  son,1  "  the 
Wickhams,  Rigauds,  Saladins,  Achards,  Lord  Fincastle, 
Sir  John  Macpherson,  Malouet,  Lally,  and  Montlosier 
likewise  gave  us  the  kindest  welcome  ;  and  a  whole  host 
of  French  emigrants  of  all  shades  of  opinion,  from  the 
Bishop  of  Arras  to  the  Chevalier  de  Grave  (a  Girondin), 
called  on  my  father,  all  anxious  to  sound  his  intentions, 
to  conciliate  him  to  their  own  views,  and  to  engage  his 
talents  and  rising  influence  in  support  of  their  opinions. 
His  former  political  ties  and  prepossessions  were  all 
on  the  side  of  his  old  friends  the  Monarchiens  most 
of  whom  were  in  England  ;  but  these  friends,  whose 
moderation  and  temperate  views  of  government  had 
led  them  to  cultivate  the  society  of  the  Whigs,  did  not 
like  to  see  my  father  connect  himself  in  England  ex- 
clusively with  the  Anti-Jacobin  party.  They  had 
likewise  expected  from  their  long  intimacy  with  him 
that  he  would  have  placed  himself  at  once  in  their 
hands,  and  associated  some  of  them  in  his  labours. 
My  father's  excited  feelings  on  his  arrival  here,  and 
his  determination  to  take  his  own  line,  therefore  pro- 
duced a  little  coolness  at  first.  Malouet  alone,  who 
had  a  true  affection  for  him  and  whose  heart  and 
generous  disposition  were  inaccessible  to  any  secondary 
considerations,  devoted  himself  to  us,  gave  my  father 
excellent  advice,  and  exerted  himself  with  his  English 
friends  of  whom  he  had  many  highly  respectable  to 
ensure  my  father's  success." 

Nor  was  Mallet  du  Pan  altogether  neglected  by 
members  of  the  Government,  although  Reeves  had 
warned  him  not  to  rely  on  their  assistance  in  his 

"  The  old  Lord  Liverpool  was  one  of  the  most 
considerable  of  those  to  whom  Reeves  introduced  my 
father.  He  came  to  dine  in  Cecil  Street,  and  I  well 

1  Reminiscences, 


remember  his  cold,  diplomatic,  silent  manner — of  all 
men  the  least  calculated  to  inspire  confidence  and 
encourage  independent  talents.  I  must,  however,  do 
him  the  justice  to  say  that  he  took  a  real  interest  in 
the  success  of  my  father's  work.  I  have  several  letters 
of  his  written  to  Reeves  previously  to  our  coming  to 
England,  entering  in  detail  into  the  means  of  securing 
its  success.  .  .  . 

"  Very  different  in  most  respects  was  Mr.  Windham, 
then  Under-Secretary  of  State  for  the  Home  Depart- 
ment, whom  we  met  at  dinner  at  Mr.  Wickham's,  and 
whose  courteous,  open,  and  engaging  manners  formed 
a  great  contrast  with  old  Jenkinson.  We  were  de- 
lighted with  his  reception,  and  I  shall  never  forget  his 
taking  me  by  the  hand  and  saying,  '  As  to  this  young 
gentleman,  he  is  no  stranger  to  me  ;  for  I  have  seen 
some  letters  of  his,  written  in  very  good  English,  and 
very  creditable  to  his  feelings '.  Nothing  could  exceed 
the  openness  and  charm  of  his  manner."  l 

To  him,  as  well  as  to  some  other  friends,  Mallet 
du  Pan  submitted  a  sort  of  prospectus  of  his  intended 
work,  and  an  estimate  was  formed  of  the  expenses  of 
the  undertaking  from  which  it  appeared  that  500  sub- 
scribers would  give  him  an  income ;  but  nothing  like 
open  countenance,  such  as  the  promise  of  occasional 
communications  from  the  Foreign  Office  and  other  de- 
partments which  were  generally  given  to  government 
papers,  was  forthcoming.  All  that  the  editor  obtained 
was  a  subscription  of  twenty-five  copies  from  the  Home 
Office  for  the  use  of  the  French  conquered  colonies. 

:<  There  was  then,"  writes  his  son,  "  hardly  a  court 
in  Europe,  save  that  of  London,  where  a  public  writer 
of  such  character  and  influence  would  not  have  met 
with  some  personal  attentions  from  the  individuals  at 

1  Reminiscences. 


the  head  of  the  Government.  My  father  had  been 
entrusted  with  an  important  mission  by  Louis  XVI.  ; 
he  had  been  marked  out  by  Bonaparte  and  the  Directory 
as  a  man  to  be  hunted  out  of  the  Continent ;  he  had 
lost  his  fortune,  health,  and  peace  of  mind  ;  he  had 
been  banished  from  France  for  supporting  an  oppressed 
minority,  with  whom  he  had  no  other  community  of 
interest  and  feeling  than  a  sense  of  public  wrong  ;  he 
was  a  republican  and  a  Protestant — they  were  the 
privileged  members  of  a  Catholic  and  absolute  monarchy. 
He  might  therefore  have  expected,  without  any  un- 
reasonable pretensions,  that  the  same  men  who  were 
lavishing  the  treasures  and  the  blood  of  this  country 
in  resisting  the  progress  of  the  Revolution  by  every 
possible  means,  legitimate  and  illegitimate,  would  not 
have  left  him  wholly  unnoticed  ;  more  particularly  as 
there  was  hardly  a  subordinate  agent  employed  in  con- 
ducting some  of  the  disgraceful  underplots  then  going 
on  that  had  not  a  personal  access  to  the  ministers. 
Mr.  Pitt  had,  however,  no  predilection  for  men  of 
letters,  and  was  not  conversant  with  French.  But 
Lord  Grenville  and  Lord  Spencer,  Lord  Loughborough, 
Windham,  and  Canning  were  capable  of  appreciating 
the  merits  of  a  foreign  writer.  I  have  already  men- 
tioned Mr.  Windham's  courteous  reception  of  us ;  but 
our  intercourse  ended  there.  We  afterwards  met 
Mr.  Canning  at  Sir  W.  Drummond's  to  whom  Lord 
Dunmore  had  introduced  us ;  but  his  manner  was  dis- 
tant and  cold,  and  he  did  not  utter  five  sentences 
during  the  whole  of  dinner.  Gifford,  the  poet,  who 
was  likewise  there  maintained  a  repulsive  silence ; 
such  are  the  manners  of  this  country,  and  the  reception 
foreigners  not  unfrequently  experience  even  in  the  best 
society.  I  am  aware  that  such  disappointments  were 
not  peculiar  to  us,  and  that  in  a  greater  or  less  degree 
Johnson's  maxim  that  'for  aught  he  knew  all  foreigners 
were  fools '  generally  prevails  in  the  minds  of  English- 
men. I  am  likewise  aware  of  the  disinclination  of 


English  people,  even  the  best  bred  and  best  educated, 
to  converse  in  French ;  but  this  mauvaise  honte 
ought  to  give  way  to  a  feeling  of  courtesy  and  to  the 
desire  of  benefiting  by  the  conversation  of  men  dis- 
tinguished for  their  information  or  talents." 

In  spite  of  all  difficulties,  however,  Mallet's  reputa- 
tion and  the  energy  of  his  friends  enabled  him  to  start 
a  new  journal,  appearing  every  fortnight,  which  was 
called  the  Mercure  Britannique. 

"  All  our  friends  exerted  themselves  with  the  greatest 
zeal,  and  subscriptions  came  in  rapidly.  The  Dukes 
of  York,  Kent  and  Gloucester,  the  ministers,  and  many 
persons  of  rank  and  of  Parliamentary  or  literary  distinc- 
tion, were  among  the  number.  Most  of  the  foreign 
ministers  in  England,  and  many  distinguished  persons 
on  the  Continent  likewise  subscribed,  so  that  we  soon 
exceeded  500  copies,  and  in  the  course  of  a  few  months 
reached  750 :  a  large  circulation  for  a  foreign  news- 
paper published  in  England."2 

The  objects  which  the  editor  set  before  himself 
in  this  publication  were  to  direct  the  efforts  of  Europe 
against  the  French,  to  enforce  the  lessons  of  ten 
years  of  revolution,  and  to  combat  misconceptions 
prevalent  no  less  on  the  Continent  than  in  England 
as  to  the  strength,  the  success  and  the  character 
of  the  French  Republic,  the  ability  of  its  rulers,  the 
irresistible  march  of  the  Revolution,  and  the  means  of 
hindering  its  approach.  Such  misconceptions  were 
among  the  most  serious  obstacles  to  the  formation  of 

1  Reminiscences. 

2  Mercure  Britannique  ;  ou  Notices  historiques  et  critiques  sur  les 
affaires  du  temps,  4  vols.,  composed  of  thirty-six  numbers,  the  first  dated 
2oth  August  1798,  and  the  last  25th  March  1800.    It  was  widely  circu- 
lated in  Europe  and  several  times  republished  after  the  author's  death. 


a  new  coalition  such  as  that  which  was  headed  by  Pitt 
at  the  beginning  of  the  year  1799. 

These  few  volumes — for  the  work  lasted  only  two 
years — contain  the  maturest  fruit  of  his  genius  and 
experience,  and  in  turning  to  it,  after  the  diplomatic 
correspondence  in  which  the  last  few  years  had  been 
passed,  one  cannot  but  feel  that  his  own  instinct  was 
right  in  telling  him  that  he  was  at  his  best  as  a  journalist. 
That  correspondence  indeed  is  distinguished,  as  we  have 
seen,  for  its  just  and  powerful  analyses  of  public  opinion 
in  France  and  of  the  spirit  of  parties,  for  its  outspoken 
criticism  of  the  conduct  of  the  allies,  and  above  all  for 
an  intelligible  view  of  policy  urged  with  spirit  and 
consistency,  and  enforced  by  appeals  to  experience. 
But  it  would  be  in  the  highest  degree  unfair  to  base 
a  judgment  of  the  author  upon  this  portion  of  his  work 
alone.  Written  for  a  special  purpose,  the  official  corre- 
spondence deals  with  a  restricted  portion  of  the  subject, 
and  its  faults  are  perhaps  inseparable  from  such  a  species 
of  composition.  A  certain  optimism  was  both  prudent 
and  politic  in  writing  to  the  parties  upon  whom  success 
or  failure  depended,  and  some  exaggeration  and  violence 
of  tone,  some  repetition  of  ideas,  are  certain  to  be  found 
in  a  series  of  secret  memoranda  presented  to  a  Cabinet, 
and  published,  as  historical  criticism  demands,  in  the 
exact  form  in  which  they  were  written.  It  is  to  the 
works  in  which  he  appealed  to  Europe  and  to  posterity 
that  we  must  look  for  broader  views  than  are  to  be 
found  in  the  pleadings  of  an  advocate  and  diplomatist. 
Moderation,  or  what  passed  for  it,  was  not  to  be  expected 
from  one  whose  convictions  had  been  hardened  in  the 
furnace  of  experiences  such  as  his,  and  moderation  is 
not  the  word  to  describe  the  tone  of  the  Mercure 


Britannique,  at  all  events  in  the  articles  on  the  treatment 
of  the  Swiss  cantons.     The  younger  Mallet,  when  he 
remarks  on  the  u  too  indiscriminately  violent "  tone  of 
the  journal,  and  compares  it  in  this  respect  with  the 
writings  of  Burke,  makes  a  criticism  more  in  harmony 
with  the  spirit  of  the  liberal  reaction  of  his  own  lifetime 
than  would  perhaps  be  passed  on  it  by  recent  students 
of  the  Revolution.     But  what  the  work  loses  in  calm 
detachment  of  style  it  gains  in  force,  in  precision,  in 
concentration,  in  emphasis,  in  irony.      "  Never,"  writes 
the  latest  and  most  judicious  of  his  critics,  M.  Valette, 
"did    the  gifts  of  observation,   of  moral   analysis,   of 
vigorous  and  vehement  expression  shine  with  a  brighter 
ray  in  Mallet's  works  than  during  these  last  years  which 
marked  the  destruction  of  his  hopes,  and  convinced  him 
of  the  uselessness  of  his  long  career  of  struggle,   of 
danger,  and  of  unrecognised  devotion."     To  represent 
Mallet  du  Pan's  writing  at  this  time  as  having  lost  its 
balance  and  judgment  would  indeed  be  to  give  a  wholly 
false  impression  of  the  Mercure  as  a  whole.      His  atti- 
tude towards  the  ultra- Royalists  and  his  appreciation 
of  Bonaparte's  position  are  sufficient  evidence  to  the 
contrary,  and  his  articles  on  such  subjects  as  Washing- 
ton's career,  on  the  influence  of  the  philosophers,  and 
on  the  causes  of  the  Revolution,  are  conceived  in  a  spirit 
very  far  removed  from  that  attributed  to  him  by  some  of 
his  critics.      If,  for  instance,  we  are  wearied  by  the  itera- 
tion of  gloomy  forebodings  of  the  fate  of  Europe,  of  the 
irresistible  might  of  the  Revolutionary  movement,  of  the 
impending  dissolution  of  social  order,  we  may  turn  to  a 
passage,  one  among  many,  to  words  which  seem  rather 
those  of  an  historian  than  of  one  who  had  suffered  from 
the  convulsion  every  misfortune  but  the  guillotine : — 


"  The  annals  of  the  world  have  preserved  the 
memory  of  many  such  climacteric  eras,  in  which  the 
intoxication  of  unreason  working  upon  human  passions 
has  seized  upon  society  to  destroy  its  harmony  and 
punish  generations  of  its  members.  We  hear  it  said  that 
the  Revolution  is  unparalleled  in  its  horror.  Nothing, 
not  even  the  wonder  of  fools,  is  unparalleled  in  this 
world.  As  for  horror,  was  it,  alas !  less  grievous  to  be 
a  loyal  royalist  in  Paris  when  Charles  the  Bad  assassi- 
nated the  Marshal  de  Champagne  in  the  very  arms  of 
his  sovereign  ?  Was  it  less  grievous  to  be  the  Admiral 
de  Coligny  in  1572  than  the  Prince  de  Conde*  in  1793  ? 
Was  it  less  grievous  to  be  the  descendant  of  Aurungzebe, 
or  of  Michael  Palseologus,  than  of  Louis  XIV.  ?  For 
contemporary  witnesses  every  event  is  unique,  yet 
history  offers  us  a  succession  of  perpetual  but  dissimilar 
horrors.  It  is  the  honourable  task  of  the  historian  to 
discriminate  between  them  ;  the  learning  of  a  pedant 
can  discover  their  resemblances."  l 

1  Merc.  jBrit.,  No.  8,  xoth  December  1798.  The  passage  which 
follows  is  so  characteristic  of  the  author  both  in  style  and  matter, 
that  I  may  be  excused  for  quoting  it  in  the  original : — 

"  Ce  qui  sert  a  faire  de  la  Revolution  de  France  un  tableau  sans 
exemple,  ce  ne  sont  ni  ses  doctrines,  ni  ses  crimes,  ni  ses  origines,  ni 
ses  malheurs :  c'est  le  caractere  particulier  de  ses  auteurs  et  de  ses 
victimes ;  c'est  ce  melange  de  mechancete  usurpatrice  et  de  fanatisme 
scolastique  ente  sur  la  vanite  nationale ;  c'est  cet  enchainement  de 
crimes  rendus  necessaires  par  d'autres  crimes,  dans  ces  transitions 
graduelles  de  1'esprit  d'independance  au  besoin  d'un  despotisme 
rdgulier ;  c'est  cette  inconstance  des  opinions  apres  la  fievre  de 
1'enthousiasme ;  c'est  cette  union  du  ge"nie  des  sectes  a  celui  des 
conquerants,  qui  attaque  a  la  fois  les  territoires  et  les  institutions, 
les  religions,  les  usages,  les  moeurs,  les  proprietes  et  les  sentiments 
publics  ;  c'est  ce  concours  de  1'hypocrisie  avec  la  feVocite,  du  langage 
des  lumieres  avec  la  bassesse  de  1'ignorance,  des  sophismes  avec  les 
forfaits,  et  d'une  corruption  perfectionnee  avec  la  brutalitd  des  temps 
de  barbaric :  c'est,  enfin,  ce  contraste  eternel  entre  les  principes  et 
les  actions,  entre  1'empire  des  idees  et  celui  des  interets,  entre  la  force 


The  first  three  numbers  of  the  new  periodical  were 
filled  with  an  account  of  the  invasion  of  Switzerland 
and  the  destruction  of  the  Helvetic  Confederacy, 
written  with  all  the  energy  and  eloquence  of  outraged 
patriotism.  This  event  had  excited  great  interest  and 
indignation  in  England  which  was  kept  alive  by  the 
heroic  and  continued  resistance  of  the  smaller  cantons. 

"  The  title  of  the  work,"  writes  Mallet's  son,1  "  Essay 
on  the  Destruction  of  the  Helvetic  Confederacy,  does  not 
seem  the  most  suitable  to  an  animated  historical  nar- 
rative ;  but  it  was  probably  adopted  with  reference  to  the 
first  part  of  it,  containing  an  analysis  of  the  causes  which 
led  to  the  subversion  of  the  Confederacy :  a  masterly 
sketch  (as  I  remember  hearing  Dumont  observe)  of  the 
struggles  of  a  Republic  menaced  with  foreign  invasion 
and  torn  by  internal  dissensions.  The  first  chapter 
treats  of  the  moral  and  civil  state  of  the  Canton  of 
Berne  previously  to  the  Revolution,  and  contains  an 
account  of  the  manners  and  Government  of  that  happy 
people,  of  which  neither  time  nor  any  change  of  circum- 
stances can  ever  lessen  the  interest.  In  reading  the 
chapter,  and  more  particularly  that  part  of  it  which 
relates  to  the  manners  of  the  Bernois  peasantry,  my 
children  will  form  a  just  notion  of  the  talents  and  feel- 
ing of  their  grandfather,  and  of  the  people  whom  the 

des  hommes  et  celle  des  evenements :  contraste  qui,  apres  avoir 
enfante  une  suite  de  vicissitudes,  les  a  perpetuees,  et  qu'on  n'explique 
ni  par  des  declamations,  ni  par  des  fables  apocalyptiques  sur  les 
causes  secretes  ". 

Again  :  "  Un  revoke  peut  etre  1'ouvrage  d'un  quart  d'heure ; 
les  Revolutions  sont  celui  des  siecles.  Aucune  n'eut  sa  source 
dans  un  principe  inopine :  mais  en  s'unissant  a  une  ou  plusieurs 
causes  accidentelles,  leurs  mobiles  preparatoires  et  antecedants 
les  developpent.  La  poudre  a  canon  eclate  a  1'approche  d'une 
etincelle;  ce  n'est  pas  1'etincelle  qui  compose  la  poudre  a  canon." 

1  Reminiscences.  * 


French  came  to  regenerate.  I  would  have  them  turn 
to  a  note  at  page  45,  containing  a  striking  description 
of  a  Bernois  country  wedding.  Often  have  I  seen  my 
father  rise  from  the  composition  of  this  work  overcome 
and  agitated,  and  walking  up  and  down  the  room  until 
he  had  recovered  from  the  powerful  emotions  excited  in 
his  mind.  He  was  then  almost  ready  to  say  with  Valen- 
tine of  Milan,  '  Rien  ne  m'est  plus,  plus  ne  m'est  rien '." 

The  work  had  an  immediate  and  gratifying  success 
the  first  edition  being  at  once  exhausted.  Mallet  du 
Pan,  we  read,  was  particularly  touched  by  the  letters 
he  received  from  several  Bernese  gentlemen  ;  and  by 
none  more  than  a  letter  from  Ch.  L.  Haller,1  the 
Gallican  enthusiast  who  in  his  capacity  of  Secretary  to 
the  Police  Committee  of  Council  at  Berne  in  1797  had 
been  so  active  in  promoting  Mallet's  sentence  of  banish- 
ment from  the  canton.  The  eyes  of  this  infatuated 
young  man  had  been  opened  by  subsequent  events,  and 
his  patriotic  feelings  excited  in  an  opposite  direction. 

This  auspicious  beginning  put  the  exiled  family  in 
good  spirits,  and  they  saw  the  hope  of  better  days 
and  of  a  less  precarious  and  unsettled  existence.  After 
staying  three  weeks  with  John  Reeves  they  had  taken 
up  their  residence  at  19  Woodstock  Street,  a  small 
street  out  of  Oxford  Street  and  running  into  Bond 
Street,  which  they  could  see  from  their  windows  filled 
then,  as  now,  with  a  fashionable  throng.  Popularity, 
however,  is  seldom  attained  without  some  sacrifices. 

"  Our  drawing-room2  became  a  sort  of  levee,  which 
very  much  broke  in  upon  my  father's  time  and  occupa- 

1('Vingt   fois,"    he   wrote,   "en  lisant  cet  ouvrage   digne   de 
Salluste  et  de  Tacite  des  sanglots  m'ont  empeche  de  continuer." 
2  Reminiscences. 


tions.  Our  emigrant  friends,  who  came  in  and  out  all 
day  and  at  all  hours,  formed  much  the  best  part  of 
our  society,  for  most  of  them  were  distinguished  men.1 
Besides  those  I  have  mentioned  we  often  saw  Cice, 
the  old  Archbishop  of  Bordeaux ;  the  Archbishop  of 
Aix,  a  courtly,  eloquent,  high-bred  ecclesiastic  of  a 
noble  family ;  the  Prince  de  Poix,  the  Baron  de  Gilliers, 
the  Abbe  Lajare,  Panat  ;  Bourmont,  the  Vendean 
chief,  afterwards  General  of  Division  under  Napoleon 
-  a  clever,  graceful,  insinuating  person ;  Pozzo  di 
Borgo  who  subsequently  became  a  favourite  of  the 
Emperor  Alexander  and  his  Ambassador  at  Paris  after 
1814,  and  was  one  of  the  most  active  and  influential 
agents  in  the  great  political  events  which  began  at 
Moscow  and  terminated  at  Waterloo  :  a  true  Corsican, 
but  possessing  extraordinary  sagacity  and  talents. 

"  We  likewise  saw  a  good  deal  of  our  own  country- 
men— Dumont,  Saladin,  D'Yvernois,  Dr.  Marcet,  De 
la  Rive,  and  several  Swiss  and  Genevese  young  men 
who  had  settled  in  this  country  after  the  Revolution." 

The  reputation  of  the  new  journal  was  more  than 
sustained  by  subsequent  numbers.  Plenty  of  material 
for  useful  comment  was  supplied  by  the  respective 
positions  of  France  and  the  other  European  states,'2  the 
Egyptian  expedition,  the  battle  of  the  Nile  and  the 
failure  of  General  Humbert's  descent  on  Ireland,  and 

1  "  Chateaubriand  was  then  in  England,  and  gave  an  evening 
lecture  at  M.  Malouet's,  at  which  he  read  Atala  and  some  sketches 
of  his  subsequent  work,  Le  Genie  du  Christianisme.     Many  persons 
of  note  among  the  emigrants  were  there,  and  Calonne  and  my  father 
were  of  the  number.     After  the  lecture,  my  father  said  to  the  persons 
near  him,  '  II  y  a  du  talent  dans  tout  cela,  mais  je  ne  comprends  rien 
a  ses  harmonies  de  la  Nature  et  de  la  Religion ' ;  in  which  opinion 
Calonne  concurred."     The  conjunction  of  the  two  names  is  inter- 
esting and  the  comment  characteristic.     (Reminiscences.} 

2  The  fourth  number,  which  contained  a  remarkable  paper  on 
the  political  relations  and  situation  of  the  Continental  States,  was 
at  least  as  successful  as  the  essay  on  Switzerland. 


finally  by  the  successful  efforts  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment to  form  a  new  coalition  by  means  of  an  alliance 
with  Russia  against  the  Directory.  Mallet  du  Pan  did 
his  utmost  to  remove  the  jealous  alarm  of  the  Austrians 
at  the  prospect  of  admitting  the  Russian  forces  into  the 
German  States  by  drawing  attention  to  the  real  danger, 
the  resolute  and  unbounded  ambition  of  the  Republican 
Government,  which,  as  he  said,  had  "placed  Europe 
under  an  interdict,"  and  "  was  devouring  it  leaf  by  leaf 
like  an  artichoke ".  He  followed  in  his  pages  the 
early  brilliant  successes  of  the  northern  confederacy 
and  their  reconquests,  succeeded  however  by  the  de- 
feat of  the  British  and  Russians  in  Holland  and  that 
of  Suwarow  at  Zurich  ;  reverses  due  mainly  as  usual 
to  the  mistakes  of  the  allies,  of  which  Mallet  specially 
signalised  the  cruel  devastation  of  Switzerland  by  the 

O  ' 

foreign  troops  and  the  consequent  disastrous  and  im- 
politic alienation  of  Swiss  sympathies.  In  December 
he  gave  an  account  of  the  budget  opened  by  Pitt  (on 
the  3rd),  which  he  described  as  being  rather  a  complete 
course  of  public  economy  than  a  ministerial  discourse  ; 
"one  of  the  finest  works  of  positive  and  speculative 
finance  which  have  ever  distinguished  the  pen  of  a 
philosopher  or  of  a  statesman  V  As  the  winter,  which 
was  a  very  severe  one,  went  on,  and  communication  with 
the  Continent  became  more  difficult,  he  was  thrown 
more  and  more  on  his  own  resources  to  fill  the  pages 
of  the  Mercure.  For  almost  two  months  his  corre- 
spondence from  abroad  was  suspended,  fifteen  Hamburg 
mails  arriving  together  on  the  1 6th  of  March.  To  this 
time  belong  several  papers  of  general  interest,  such  as 

1  Mr.  Gladstone  quoted  this  account  in  his  own  great  budget 
speech  in  1853. 


those  on  the  anarchy  of  European  political  systems  and 
on  the  Union  with  Ireland,  notably  however  one  on 
the  influence  of  philosophical  writings  as  one  of  the 
causes  of  the  French  Revolution.1 

It  was  not  long  before  the  vigour  and  independence 
with  which  Mallet  du  Pan  exercised  his  newly  found 
privilege  to  write,  think  and  speak,  involved  him  in 
difficulties  with  his  French  readers.  Their  hopes  had 
survived  even  the  i8th  of  Fructidor,  and  they  were 
displeased  that  he  would  not  flatter  them  with  the 
prospect  of  an  early  settlement  of  affairs.  The  fulfil- 
ment of  his  gloomy  anticipations  did  not  make  him 
more  popular  with  them,  and  they  had  not  relished  his 
insistence  on  the  necessity  of  prosecuting  the  war. 
The  "  King  "  who  had  never  forgiven  his  condemnation 
of  the  Verona  manifesto  held  no  communication  with 
him,  but  his  brother,  Monsieur  (the  Comte  d'Artois), 
had  soon  after  his  arrival  in  London  written  him  a 
long  and  flattering  letter 2  in  reply  to  one  from  Mallet 
counselling  patience  and  inaction.  In  this  letter 
Monsieur  urged  him  to  use  all  the  influence  he  conceived 
him  to  possess  with  the  British  Cabinet,  in  favour  of 
continued  efforts  to  reimpose  the  Bourbon  dynasty  on 
France  :  'Paries,  tonnes,  ne  craignez pas  den  trop  dire 
d  un  cabinet  qui  sail  apprecier  votre  opinion  '.  But  when 
he  went  on  to  speak  of  the  necessity  of  a  restoration 
by  armed  intervention  if  the  King  were  to  preserve 
sufficient  authority  to  govern  a  great  people,  and  to 
deprecate  any  transaction  or  compromise,  he  was  run- 
ning directly  counter  to  the  views  of  the  man  he  was 

1  Merc.  Brit.,  No.  14,  loth  March  1799.  See  appendix  for  the 
latter  part  of  this  paper. 

2Sayous,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  502-508. 


pretending  to  consult ;  and  events  having  again  during 
the  early  months  of  1799  become  more  favourable  to 
the  fortunes  of  the  Princes,  Mallet's  advice  was  for  the 
time  neither  sought  nor  tendered,  and  he  was  left  un- 
molested by  the  ultra- Royalists,  who,  however,  jealously 
scanned  his  pages  for  any  expressions  reflecting  on  the 
ancien  regime  or  showing  a  leaning  towards  constitu- 
tional modifications. 

As  his  son  wrote  : — l 

"His  English  readers  respected  his  talents  and 
character,  and  caring  little  for  the  fanciful  distinctions 
and  shades  of  opinion  by  which  the  royalists  were 
divided,  they  only  saw  in  my  father  a  man  thoroughly 
in  earnest,  who  was  on  the  right  side  of  the  question, 
and  wrote  with  great  spirit  and  independence ;  and 
this  ought  to  have  been  the  feeling  of  all  persons 
hostile  to  the  French  Revolution.  But  the  same 
jealousy  of  liberal  opinions  which  had  excluded  the 
Intendant  of  Brittany  from  the  circle  of  the  President 
of  Boisgelin  in  a  Paris  prison  during  the  Reign  of 
Terror,  watched  with  a  scrutinizing  and  jealous  eye 
every  opinion  and  even  expression  in  my  father's  writings 
which  might  be  construed  as  inimical  to  the  ancien 
regime.  Many  of  these  Marat 's  a  cocarde  blanche, 
as  my  father  had  once  called  them,  derived  a  very 
comfortable  existence  (and  some  of  them  a  very  large 
income)  from  the  plots  and  intrigues  of  which  they 
enjoyed  a  monopoly,  and  to  which  sounder  views  of 
policy  would  have  put  an  end.  With  such  fears  as 
these,  and  the  honest  conviction  entertained  by  some  of 
them  that  no  circumstances  should  induce  the  Bourbons 
to  bend  the  knee  before  Baal,  they  looked  with  abhor- 
rence on  any  man  who  raised  a  doubt  of  their  exclusive 
right  to  political  influence,  as  well  as  to  British  gold." 

1  Reminiscences. 


Mallet  du  Pan  was  only  too  anxious  to  avoid  con- 
troversies which,  as  he  knew  from  long  experience, 
could  serve  no  useful  purpose.  With  the  fresh  collapse 
of  the  alliance  in  the  summer  of  1799,  however,  the 
Royalists  soon  became  more  aggressive.  Mallet's  son 
gives  an  instance  of  the  lengths  to  which  this  sort  of 
feeling  could  be  carried  in  social  intercourse.  Their  old 
friend,  the  Abbe  de  Lisle,  who  followed  them  to  London  l 

1 "  I  went  and  sought  them,  got  them  a  lodging  in  Bond  Street, 
at  a  French  bookseller's,  and  when  fairly  settled,  I  listened  to  and 
smiled  at  the  poor  Abbe's  ludicrous  account  of  his  adventures ;  things 
that,  to  his  mind,  had  happened  to  no  one  else  since  people  had 
travelled,  and  which  he  told  with  such  a  mixture  of  grave  and  gay, 
of  lamentation  and  levity,  of  quotations  from  La  Fontaine  and 
Moliere  and  his  own  fertile  muse,  that  it  would  have  been  an 
entertainment  for  an  audience.  Then  who  can  forget  his  little 
smart  figure,  his  ugly,  expressive  phiz,  and  turned-up  nose?  But  I 
have  all  along  said  '  they,'  and  must  explain  why.  The  Abbe  de  Lisle 
had  a  female  companion,  Mile  Vaudechamp,  who  had  left  France 
with  him;  a  woman  without  education,  coarse  in  her  looks  and 
manners,  and  who  was  said  to  have  recourse  to  rough  methods  with 
the  poor  Abbe,  even  to  occasional  use  of  the  poker.  The  Abbe 
called  her  his  niece,  a  clerical  nom  de  guerre.  There  were  other 
reports — 

"...  but  Fame 
Says  things  not  fit  for  me  to  name." 

What  with  his  blindness,  and  her  untractable  disposition,  they  were 
very  helpless  at  first,  and  altogether  on  our  hands.  The  Abbe, 
however,  read  English,  and  understood  it  when  spoken  distinctly: 
he  knew  some  of  Pope's  works  almost  by  heart,  and  had  translated 
the  Essay  on  Man  and  the  Epistle  to  Arbuthnot.  Pope  was  the 
Abbe's  model ;  but  he  (Pope)  had  a  finer  imagination  and  stronger 
conception.  Rivarol  used  to  say  of  the  Abbe  de  Lisle's  writings, 
that  he  was  too  anxious  to  secure  the  success  of  each  verse,  and 
neglected  the  fortune  of  the  work.  His  exquisite  ear,  and  great 
exactness  and  elegance,  are  no  doubt  among  his  chief  merits ;  and 



was  dining  one  day  at  their  house  in  company  with 
Malouet,  Bertrand  de  Moleville  and  De  la  Rive  of 
Geneva,  when  he  suddenly  observed  '  Le  Roi  ne 
doit  retourner  en  France  qu'a  tr avers  un  pied  de 
sang\  Mallet  expostulated  with  him  observing  that 
there  was  hardly  a  person  in  the  room  who  would 
not  fall  under  the  axe  of  such  exterminating  maxims, 
upon  which  the  Abbe"  quite  beside  himself  turned  to 
Malouet  and  said,  '  Et  vous,  vous  meritez  d'etre  fiendu  ! ' 
Such  feelings  as  these  made  a  collision  sooner  or 
later  inevitable,  and  the  incident  had  better  be  given 
in  the  words  of  the  younger  Mallet. 

"It  would  have  been  better  for  my  father's  peace 
of  mind  if  he  had  left  the  hostility  of  these  excited 
politicians  unnoticed  ;  but  it  assailed  him  from  so  many 
quarters,  and  in  so  many  shapes — in  pamphlets,  letters 
and  society — that  he  lost  his  patience,  and  exposed 
their  narrowness  and  political  bigotry,  their  mischievous 
opinions  and  unrelenting  disposition,  in  terms  which 
could  never  be  forgiven.  It  was  on  the  occasion  of 
a  letter  of  Malouet's,  printed  in  the  number  for  July 
1799,  on  the  subject  of  some  notions  then  entertained 
that  a  large  party  in  France  was  desirous  of  establish- 
ing a  constitutional  monarchy,  and  would  offer  the 
crown  to  the  Duke  of  Orleans  or  some  foreign  prince 
to  the  exclusion  of  the  legitimate  princes.  Malouet 
expatiated  on  the  impolicy  of  those  views,  which  he 
ascribed  to  two  causes — first,  to  the  ignorance  in  which 
the  French  people  were  kept  of  the  real  sentiments  of 
Louis  XVIII.  ;  and  secondly,  to  the  character  of  the 
war  on  the  part  of  the  allies.  This  letter  was  not,  in 
my  opinion,  very  judicious ;  but  the  clamour  raised 

he  must  be  ranked,  as  well  as  Pope,  among  those  of  the  eloquentia 
genus  who  are  distinguished  for  the  pressum  et  mite  et  limitum,  rather 
than  for  the plenu m  et  erectum,  etaudax,  etpraecehum  "  (Reminiscences). 


against  it  was  altogether  founded  on  the  opinion  of 
the  writer  that  the  King  was  ready  to  make  great 
sacrifices  of  authority,  and  to  lend  himself  to  any 
system  of  conciliation  which  might  unite  in  one  com- 
mon interest  all  the  friends  of  a  limited  monarchy. 
This  was  not  to  be  borne,  and  Malouet  was,  therefore, 
assailed  from  all  quarters,  and  treated  like  a  traitor  or 
an  apostate.  He  was  attacked  with  peculiar  violence 
by  a  clever,  unprincipled  royalist  writer,  Peltier,  who 
was  then  engaged  in  a  periodical  work  called  the 
Ambigu.  My  father,  therefore,  came  forward  in  his 
next  number  for  August  1799: — 

"  '  Quelqu'un  s'avise-t-il  de  proclamer  1'indulgence, 
la  clemence,  la  justice  du  Roi ;  son  aversion  pour  le 
pouvoir  arbitraire,  son  discernement  sur  ce  que  les 
opinions  de  son  siecle  renferment  d'erreurs  a  repousser 
ou  de  connaissances  a  menager?  Des  cris  s'elevent 
pour  contredire  cet  dloge,  pour  en  diffamer  1'objet,  et 
apprendre  a  la  France  que  les  vertus  du  Roi  sont 
autant  de  chimeres.  .  .  .  On  leur  parle  de  Gouverne- 
ment  legal :  ils  ne  veulent  ni  legalite  ni  Gouvernement. 
L'art  d'administrer  les  soci&es  humaines  est  pour  eux 
le  sabre  et  le  potence  ...  ils  ne  veulent  de  lois  que 
celles  qui  mettent  le  peuple  sous  leur  d^pendance  sans 
leur  en  imposer  aucune.  ...  Ils  meprisent  toute  Res- 
tauration  qui  terminerait  les  malheurs  de  la  France  et 
les  perils  de  1' Europe,  a  moms  qu'elle  ne  rendit  a  une 
poign^e  de  privilegies  le  droit  de  disposer  a  leur  gre,  et 
exclusivement,  du  Monarque  et  de  la  Monarchic.1  .  .  . 
Quelqu'eclatant  neanmoins  que  puisse  etre  le  crescendo 
de  leurs  clameurs  lorsqu'ils  voyent  le  sens  commun 
approcher  du  Capitole,  il  faut  desabuser  les  fran^ais  et 
F^tranger  sur  les  intentions  du  Roi  de  la  majorite  des 
Emigre's,  et  sur  1'effervescence  d'individus  isoles,  pour 

1  It  is  only  necessary  to  read  the  last  proclamation  of  the 
Directory  to  the  French  people  signed  by  Sieyes,  17  Fructidor,  An  7, 
to  realise  how  the  language  used  by  these  "  ultras  "  played  the  game 
of  the  Republicans  (See  Merc.  Brit.,  No.  25,  25th  Sept.  1799). 


qui  la  Revolution  est  encore  et  sera  toujours  une  revolte 
de  faubourgs? 

"  These  strictures,  and  an  expression  of  great 
severity  indirectly  applied  to  Peltier,  produced  a  per- 
fect storm  in  the  circles  of  pure  Royalism  ;  and  Peltier 
henceforth  became  a  bitter  and  irreconcilable  enemy. 
What  most  annoyed  these  avengers  of  the  Throne 
and  the  Altar  was  my  father's  taking  upon  himself  to 
disavow  their  opinions  on  behalf  of  the  King.  They 
held  that  he  had  no  authority  for  so  doing,  and  that 
the  King's  conscience  was  exclusively  in  their  keeping. 
I  am  not  sure  that  an  appeal  to  the  King  himself  would 
have  been  very  safe.  But  my  father,  nevertheless,  had 
his  vouchers,  and  he  was  fully  entitled  to  make  use  of 
them  for  so  useful  a  purpose  ;  for,  as  he  justly  observed, 

" '  No  exertions  of  the  Royalists  can  be  of  any 
advantage  to  the  King,  as  the  circumstances  of  his 
situation  and  the  political  state  of  France  do  not 
admit  of  his  availing  himself  either  of  their  services 
or  opinions :  what  is  of  importance  to  him,  however, 
is  to  conciliate  the  mass  of  his  subjects  that  are  now 
estranged  from  him,  to  weaken  opposition  and  hostile 
wishes,  to  disarm  the  fears  of  those  who  might  really 
serve  him  if  they  thought  they  could  do  it  with 

"  It  was  but  lately  that  my  father  had  transmitted  to 
the  King,  through  the  Marshal  de  Castries,  two  letters 
from  Portalis,1  full  of  sense  and  practical  wisdom,  ex- 
patiating on  this  very  topic,  and  which  are  now  in 
my  possession,  together  with  the  Marshal's  answer, 
expressing  his  entire  concurrence  in  the  views  they 
contain.  My  father  had  likewise  been  in  correspon- 
dence with  Monsieur,  who,  whatever  might  be  his 
real  sentiments,  also  expressed  his  concurrence  in  my 
father's  views,  and  the  highest  opinion  of  his  judgment 
and  sagacity." 

1  For  these  important  letters,  see  Sayous,  ii.,  393-400. 


On  this  occasion  accordingly  Monsieur  came  to 
London,  openly  blamed  his  adherents,  and  sending  for 
Malouet  and  Mallet  du  Pan  expressed  to  them  his  vexa- 
tion that  they  should  have  been  exposed  to  this  hostility 
of  persons  professing  to  be  the  friends  of  his  family. 

It  was  the  least  that  he  could  do,  for  Malouet's 
letter  which  had  led  to  the  storm  had  been  inserted  at 
the  express  desire  of  Louis  XVIII.  Mallet  gave  an 
account  of  the  interview l  which  obliged  him  to  cut 
short  a  few  days'  much-needed  holiday  in  a  friend's 
house  at  Reigate,  in  a  letter  to  Sainte-Aldegonde. 
The  Bishop  of  Arras,  the  Comte  d'Escars  and  the  agent 
Dutheil  had,  he  said,  the  mortification  of  witnessing 
his  reception  by  Monsieur,  who  talked  alone  with  him 
for  twenty  minutes  and  who  listened  with  apparent 
approval,  when  he  insisted  on  the  unfortunate  effect 
upon  opinion  in  France  of  the  publication  of  such 
attacks  as  those  of  which  he  and  Malouet  had  been 
the  victims.  'A  la  Jin  c'Uait  moi  qui  me  trouvais 
t aristocrat*  le plus  entier ! '  Sainte-Aldegonde  in  reply 
warned  him  that  the  Prince's  action  was  '  un  hommage 
forcd  et  de  circonstance*  and  that  at  the  first  success 
of  the  allied  armies  they  would  no  longer  condescend 
to  look  at  him.  "  The  Princes  will  remain  what  they 
are ;  they  will  never  employ  que  des  especes,  and  Mon- 
sieur with  all  his  gracious  affability  is  no  more  likely 
to  change  than  others."  Sainte-Aldegonde  knew 
his  man,  and  Mallet,  who  can  hardly  have  needed  the 
warning,  is  found  writing  February  i8oo,2  "  I  have 
not  seen  Monsieur  again ;  he  associates  only  with  his 
courtiers,  and  is  more  adulated  than  at  Versailles.  .  .  . 
I  earnestly  desire  to  be  absolutely  forgotten  in  that 

1Sayous,  ii.,  404.  "*  Ibid.,  435. 


quarter ;  there  is  nothing  to  be  done  with  persons  who 
are  not  honest  (des  gens  qui  ne  sont  pas  vrais)" 

The  tide  indeed  seemed  once  more  to  be  running 
in  favour  of  the  royal  house  of  France,  for  by  the  end 
of  the  summer  it  had  become  evident  that  the  days  of 
the  Directory  were  numbered.  Never  during  ten  years 
of  upheaval  had  government  been  more  powerless  or 
anarchy  in  every  department  more  rampant.  Taxes 
were  unpaid,  conscripts  refused  to  come  in,  robbery, 
crime  and  open  rebellion  were  unpunished,  Jacobinism 
could  no  longer  be  galvanised  into  life ;  while  even  in  war 
fortune  had  deserted  the  Republic,  for  the  victorious  close 
of  the  campaign  in  Holland  and  Switzerland  was  more 
than  counterbalanced  by  the  fiasco  of  the  French  in 
Egypt  and  Bonaparte's  desertion  of  his  army.  This 
time,  however,  Mallet  did  not  pretend  to  share  the  hopes 
of  the  royalist  party,  he  expected  nothing  from  the 
representatives  of  the  monarchy,  and  he  confined  him- 
self to  commenting  on  passing  events  and  indicating 
the  line  of  action  which  a  true  royalist  party,  had  one 
existed,  might  perhaps  even  then  successfully  have 
followed  by  taking  advantage  of  the  movement  after 
the  3Oth  of  Prairial  towards  restraining  the  prero- 
gative of  the  Directory.  There  is  a  reflection  in 
his  writing  of  the  spirit  of  apathy,  of  discouragement, 
of  disillusionment,  which  in  France  had  succeeded 
the  fever  of  revolutionary  enthusiasm  ;  and  again  we 
notice  the  disbelief  he  had  often  expressed  in  the  im- 
portance of  individuals  in  times  of  revolution.  "  A 
dogmatic  revolution  may  create  instruments,  never  per- 
manent leaders,  for  it  is  of  the  essence  of  revolution 
to  recognise  no  authority,  no  superiority.  In  the 
presence  of  its  terrible  genius  men  appear  no  more 


than  shadows."  l  Barras  and  Sieyes  indeed  dominated 
the  Directory  without  dominating  France,  and  they 
were  intent  only  on  bringing  about  the  inevitable  end 
in  such  a  manner  as  to  secure  impunity  and  fortune  for 
themselves.  Barras  had  sunk  to  intrigues  with  royalist 
agents,  and  in  return  for  his  promises  of  assistance  in 
a  restoration  had  obtained  from  Louis  XVIII.  letters 
patent  assuring  him  against  all  punishment,  and  grant- 
ing him  an  immense  pension.  The  machinations  of 
Sieyes  were  of  more  importance  and  interest.  He  too, 
convinced  that  the  Republic  was  dead,  was  casting  about 
for  some  combination  which  would  secure  his  own 
position.  At  first  it  was  the  Archduke  Charles  to  be 
married  to  Madame  Royale  and  enthroned  in  France  ; 
then  some  general  who  was  to  be  the  instrument  of 
a.coup  d'JEtat,  Joubert,  Jourdan,  Macdonald,  Bernadotte, 
but  not  yet  the  absent  and  almost  forgotten  Bonaparte, 
whose  coadjutor  he  had  been  in  Fructidor.  From  the 
first  the  character,  the  ambition,  the  aims  and  methods 
of  the  Abbe  Sieyes  had  set  him  apart  and  attracted 
the  attention  of  Mallet  du  Pan,  who  made  him  the 
subject  of  one  of  his  few  elaborate  portraits.  Superior 
as  he  was  to  the  mob  of  agitators  he  was  not  the  man 
to  see  France  a  prey  to  their  intrigues  without  en- 
deavouring to  become  their  master.  The  political 
metaphysician  had  qualities  which  eminently  fitted 
him  for  the  task  he  set  himself.  Fertile  in  resource, 
he  could  wait  in  silence  without  conceiving  chimerical 
plans ;  he  united  dexterity  and  constancy,  and  no  one, 
when  a  great  occasion  demanded  it,  "could  better  pre- 
serve control  over  himself,  or  obtain  it  over  others ". 

1  Merc.  Brit.,  No.  22. 


Sieyes  was  to  be  the  author  of  the  general  plan 
and  of  the  preparatory  steps  of  the  coup  d?£tat.  But 
when  the  time  had  come  the  necessary  impulsion  for 
another  change  could  only  be  found  in  military  force. 
'//  me  faut  une  epee?  he  exclaimed  in  an  epigram 
which  ended,  as  another  had  begun,1  the  Revolution ; 
he  sought  a  sword,  however,  which  should  be  his 
servant,  not  his  master.  When  Bonaparte  adopted 
the  scheme  prepared  by  him,  the  civil  arm  sank 
into  insignificance ;  the  famous  constitution,  the  most 
impracticable  but  the  most  ingenious  system  of  checks 
and  balances  ever  devised,  was  adopted  shorn  of  all 
its  distinctive  features,  and  the  philosopher  who  had 
been  the  oracle  and  epitome  of  the  revolutionary 
epoch  ended  his  days  as  a  count  and  a  pensioner.2 
It  has  been  said  that,  while  his  position  was  one  of 
opposition  to  the  historical  school  of  Montesquieu,  he 
was  not  more  in  harmony  with  the  logical  school  of 

1  Sainte-Beuve  has  collected  the  epigrams  with  which  Sieyes  "  bap- 
tised "  the  supreme  moments  of  the  Revolution. 

At  the  opening  of  the  States-General  he  asked,  "  Qu'est-ce  que 
le  Tiers-E~tat  ?  "  and  replied,  "  C'est  tout !  " 

At  the  breach  of  the  Two  Orders  with  the  deputies  of  the  Third 
Estate,  he  gave  the  latter  the  title  of  "  National  Assembly  ". 

When  the  National  Assembly,  yielding  to  passion  and  intrigue, 
began  to  go  astray  in  its  labours,  he  exclaimed,  "  Us  veulent  etre 
libres  et  ils  ne  savent  pas  etre  justes  !  " 

After  the  Terror  he  pronounced  the  pregnant  words,  "  J'ai  vecu," 
and  when  he  saw  the  failure  of  the  Directory,  "  II  me  faut  une  epee  " 
(Causeries,  vol.  v.,  p.  205). 

2  He  was  given  the  estate  of  Crone  with  an  immense  revenue. 

Sieyes  a  Bonaparte  avait  promis  un  trone 
Sous  ses  debris  brillants  voulant  Pensevelir ; 
Bonaparte  a  Sieyes  fait  present  de  Crone 
Pour  le  payer  et  Favilir. 


Rousseau.  His  favourite  studies  had  always  been  of 
an  abstract  character  ;  this  taste  was  in  him  intensified 
by  a  positive  aversion  for  the  study  of  history,  and  to 
judge  of  the  present  by  the  past  was  with  him  to  judge 
of  the  known  by  the  unknown.  In  his  incapacity  for 
any  but  d  priori  methods  in  politics  he  belonged  to  the 
revolutionary  tribe ;  he  differed  from  them,  and  this  it 
was  that  gave  him  his  strength,  in  his  conception  of 
the  possibilities  of  democratic  society.  He  believed, 
as  they  did  not,  in  representative  government.  The 
elaborate  constitutional  schemes  to  which  Sieyes  clung 
all  through  the  Revolution  attest  his  constant  effort  to 
escape  from  the  logical  conclusion  of  the  doctrines  of 
Rousseau  as  exemplified  in  the  Jacobin  experiment  of 
government.  The  Directorial  system,  in  so  far  as  it 
drew  a  line  between  the  different  functions  of  govern- 
ment, was  the  fruit  of  his  genius  ;  in  so  far  as  it  lacked 
the  jury  constitutionnaire,  a  plan  for  the  further  division 
and  balance  of  powers,  he  repudiated  it.  He  long  re- 
fused a  seat  in  the  Directory,  but  remained  their  political 
adviser,  a  step  in  accordance  with  his  dislike  of  open 
responsibility,  his  talent  of  "doing  evil  as  Providence 
does  good  without  being  perceived  ".  The  whole  pas- 
sage in  which  Mallet  has  described  this  Catalina  en 
petit  collet  is  a  masterpiece  of  satiric  portraiture  :— 

"  L'Abbe  Sieyes  est  1'homme  le  plus  dangereux 
qu'ait  fait  connaitre  la  revolution.  Des  le  premier  jour 
il  1'a  mesur^e  theoriquement,  mais  sans  en  prevoir  les 
horribles  consequences.  Republicain  avant  les  e"tats- 
geneVaux  de  1789,  il  n'a  pas  perdu  un  jour  de  vue 
le  renversement  du  trone,  de  1'Iiglise,  de  la  religion 
catholique  et  de  la  noblesse.  Heureusement  cet  opini- 
atre  et  penetrant  novateur  est  le  plus  lache  des  mortels  : 


aussitot  qu'il  a  vu  le  danger,  il  s'est  enseveli  dans  1'ob- 
scurite.  Quiconque  lui  fera  peur  le  maitrisera  toujours. 
Misanthrope  atrabilaire,  de  1'orgueil  le  plus  exclusif, 
impatient  et  concentre,  charlatan  imperieux  et  jaloux, 
ennemi  de  tout  meYite  superieur  au  sien,  personne  n'a 
plus  que  lui  1'art  de  s'emparer  des  esprits  en  affectant 
le  seul  langage  de  la  raison,  de  couvrir  d'apparences 
plus  froides  ses  passions,  son  maintien,  son  style. 
Dans  un  pays  ou  tout  le  monde  se  mele  de  raisonner 
et  ou  les  prestiges  de  la  philosophic  ont  seduit  tous  les 
rangs,  I'abb6  Sieves  est  un  homme  important.  Cepen- 
dant,  jamais  il  n'obtint  ni  dans  la  premiere  assemblee 
constituante,  ni  dans  la  convention  actuelle,  dont  il 
est  membre,  de  credit  permanent.  Mirabeau,  qui  le 
connaissait,  le  meprisait  et  le  hai'ssait,  1'avait  r^duit  au 
silence.  .  .  .  II  est  capable  d'ordonner  les  plus  grands 
crimes  pour  faire  adopter  ses  theories.  Nul  ne  pre- 
me'dita  plus  longtemps,  plus  froidement,  avec  plus  de 
reflexion,  1'abolition  de  la  Royaute.  Ennemi  de  tout 
pouvoir  dont  il  ne  sera  pas  le  directeur  spirituel,  il  a 
aneanti  la  noblesse  parce  qu'il  n'etait  pas  noble,  son 
ordre  parce  qu'il  n'etait  pas  archeveque,  les  grands 
proprietaires  parce  qu'il  pas  riche,  et  il  ren- 
verserait  tous  les  trones  parce  que  la  nature  ne  1'a  pas 
fait  roi."1 

All  this  time  the  rival  intriguers  believed,  or  tried 
to  believe,  that  Bonaparte,  all-powerful  as  he  had  been 
after  Fructidor,  no  longer  counted.  Thirteen  months 
of  exile  in  Africa,  by  turns  glorious  and  ignominious, 
might  well  have  buried  his  renown ;  already  he  was 
beginning  to  be  forgotten  when  his  reappearance  in 
Provence  on  the  9th  of  October,  and  his  triumphant 
progress  from  Frejus  to  Paris,  showed  that  he  was  the 
hero  and  deliverer  for  whom  the  people  were  waiting. 

1  Correspondence  for  Vienna,  i.,  127,  28th  Feb.  1795. 


Even  then,  and  after  the  scene  in  the  Orangery  of  Saint- 
Cloud  and  the  establishment  of  the  Consulate,  the  signi- 
ficance of  his  return  was  curiously  little  realised  outside 
France.  Mallet  du  Pan  no  more  than  others  had  fore- 
seen this  turn  of  events,  but  he  was  almost  alone  among 
the  Emigres  in  his  immediate  comprehension  of  its  mean- 
ing and  its  consequences.  Among  a  party  of  his  friends 
at  his  own  house  when  the  news  of  Bonaparte's  landing 
was  received,  and  when  most  of  those  present  spoke  of 
it  as  an  event  of  no  importance  and  of  Bonaparte  as  a 
man  of  lost  character  and  influence,  Mallet  du  Pan  ex- 
pressed a  different  opinion,  and  observed  that  it  was  an 
event  big  with  consequences  to  France  and  to  Europe. 
The  emigres  for  weeks  continued  to  hug  the  delusion 
that  the  First  Consul  was  a  new  Monk  who  had  made 
his  coup  d'£tat  in  order  to  replace  the  crown  on  the 
head  of  Louis  XVIII.,  and  the  King  himself  caused 
negotiations  to  be  opened  with  the  First  Consul,  and 
even  wrote  to  him  direct.  Mallet  combated  the  notion 
in  the  Mercure,  and  in  his  private  letters  spoke  of 
these  poor  "  innocent  emigres  who  .  .  .  would  be  still 
at  their  A  B  C  if  the  Revolution  lasted  a  century.  .  .  . 
I  will  not  disguise  my  opinion  that  the  re-establishment 
of  Louis  XVIII.  and  the  old  monarchy  is  adjourned 
to  a  distant  future." 

Now  at  all  events  the  ascendancy  of  Napoleon's 
genius  is  clear  to  Mallet  du  Pan  ;  and  the  "contempo- 
rary historian  "  is  seen  at  his  best  in  the  luminous  and 
eloquent  pages  in  which  he  expresses  his  judgment  on 
the  last  phase  of  the  revolutionary  era  which  he  lived 
to  witness.  He  would  not  have  had  cause  to  modify 
the  words  he  used  on  the  conqueror's  return  from  Egypt 


upon  which  he  had  commented  in  a  vein  of  irony,1  not 
unworthy  of  Voltaire. 

"Able  and  energetic  in  action,"  he  wrote,  "mock- 
heroic  in  speech,  never  were  valour  and  contempt  for 
humanity,  capacity  and  false  greatness,  intelligence 
and  ignorant  jugglery,  insolent  immodesty  and  splendid 
qualities,  united  to  the  same  degree  as  in  this  man, 
extraordinary  rather  than  great." 

If  after  Brumaire,  continues  Mallet,  he  refused  the 
title  of  Dictator,  Protector  or  Prince,  it  was  assuredly 
not  with  the  intention  of  restoring  to  his  country  its 
legitimate  sovereign  according  to  the  frivolous  opinion 
of  the  Royalists.  Master  of  France  in  the  Avenue  of 
Saint-Cloud,  it  was  upon  his  own  head  that  Bonaparte 
would  place  the  crown,  if  crown  indeed  there  was  to 
be.  In  a  situation  of  this  kind  a  man  had  rarely  a 
fixed  or  definite  object,  he  must  wait  upon  events. 

" .  .  .  His  head  is  in  the  clouds,  his  career  is  a  poem, 
his  imagination  a  storehouse  of  heroic  romance,  and 
his  stage  is  large  enough  for  all  the  excesses  of  his  will 

1  For  instance  :  "  Les  plus  hardis  de  ces  romanciers,  soutenus  de  la 
tourbe  des  idiots,  n'ont  pas  manque  a  attribuer  ce  retour  au  zele  de 
Bonaparte  pour  le  bien  public,  et  a  son  desir  de  reparer  les  defaites 
des  armees  republicaines.  Sans  nous  permettre  de  deviner  ses 
pensees  intimes,  il  nous  parait  assez  positif  qu'il  a  saisi  avec  em- 
pressement  le  moment  favorable  ou  il  etait  ramene  sur  la  cote  pour 
terminer  sa  captivite.  Quelque  delicieuses  qu'aient  pu  etre  les 
seances  de  1'Institut  National  du  Caire,  1'education  philosophe  des 
Cophtes,  des  Arabes  et  des  Mamloucks,  et  1'admirable  constitution 
dont  il  a  doue  ces  nouveaux  elus,  1'avenir  demeurait  inquietant ;  ses 
nuages  rendaient  encore  plus  regrettables  les  charmes  de  la  Metro- 
pole,  le  fracas  des  eloges,  et  les  destinees  plus  brillantes  que  Bona- 
parte avait  daigne  sacrifier  au  role  de  Legislateur  d'un  peuple  nu  et 
sans  esprit"  (Merc.  Brit.,  No.  28,  icth  Dec.  1799). 


or  his  ambition.  Who  can  decide  where  he  will  stop  ? 
Is  he  sufficiently  master  of  events  and  of  time,  of  his 
own  sentiments,  of  his  own  future  to  decide  it  for 

Nor  was  Mallet  du  Pan  mistaken  in  his  view  of  the 
revolution  of  the  loth  November  1799  which  seemed 
to  him  of  a  new  order,  in  its  way  as  fundamental  as 
that  of  1789.  "  The  materials,  means,  results  and 
authors  were  all  different ;  it  was  the  first  time  the 
military  element  had  triumphed  over  the  civil  power." 
He  could  not  share  the  opinion  of  those  who,  when 
they  discovered  that  Bonaparte  had  made  the  coup 
(fEtat  for  himself,  imagined  that  his  reign  and  his 
political  system  would  not  last  a  month,  who  harped 
on  the  Chouans,  on  the  exhaustion  of  the  country  and 
its  finances,  on  the  Jacobins  and  the  other  common- 
places which  had  done  yeoman  service  since  the  be- 
ginning of  the  war.  Projects  of  Chouannerie  fill  him 
"  with  shame  and  horror,"  and  as  for  counter-revolution 
by  means  of  foreign  war,  "people  might  as  well  talk 
of  conquering  the  moon".  "Bonaparte  is  king.  .  .  . 
For  my  part,  I  see  an  immense  power  placed  in  the 
hands  of  a  man  who  knows  how  to  use  it,  who  has 
on  his  side  both  the  army  and  the  people."  No 
one  described  with  more  impartial  care  the  measures 
taken  by  the  First  Consul  to  restore  settled  Govern- 
ment to  France  by  concentrating  power  in  his  own 
hands,  by  reforming  and  purifying  the  administration, 
by  confirming  the  rights  of  property  created  by  the 
Revolution,  by  assimilating  such  of  its  principles  (that 
of  equality,  for  instance)  as  had  taken  root  in  the  hearts 

1  Merc.  Brit.,  No.  28,  loth  Dec.  1799. 


of  the  people,  by  reopening  the  churches,  by  putting 
down  disorder  and  faction  (the  miserable  Chouan  rising 
was  conquered  more  by  persuasion  and  concession  than 
by  arms),  by  reconciling  discordant  opinions,  and  by 
availing  himself  of  the  services  of  men  of  talent  of  all 
parties  who  were  willing  to  devote  themselves  to  him. 
Recognising,  as  Mallet  honestly  did,  the  success  of  a 
policy  which  in  many  of  its  essentials  he  had  for  years 
pressed  upon  his  Royalist  friends,  and  witnessing  their 
continued  blindness  ("the  compensation  for  their  miseries 
which  Providence  has  happily  provided  for  them  ")  he 
may  be  pardoned  for  a  certain  fatalistic  resignation. 
It  is  easy  to  understand  the  spirit  in  which  he  wrote  : — 

"  In  truth  when  one  sees  how  the  affairs  of  the 
world  are  managed,  how  after  eight  years  of  experience 
it  is  always  the  same  circle  of  visionary  obstinacy  in  the 
teeth  of  evidence,  of  misunderstanding,  of  divisions,  of 
egoism,  one  loses  all  interest  in  the  future." 

For  Mallet  du  Pan  of  all  men  could  not  have  become 
a  convert  to  the  new  Csesarism,  as  many  of  the  emigres 
and  some  of  his  own  associates  were  to  do.  It  has 
been  noted  as  a  curious  fact  that  the  extreme  Royalists 
seemed  to  have  less  antipathy  to  the  Empire  than  they 
had  displayed  to  a  constitutional  Monarchy.  "  The 
emigres,"  he  writes  in  February  1800,  "are  returning 
in  crowds,  and  among  them  many  of  the  greatest  names 
in  France." 

Mallet  du  Pan  recognised  indeed  with  satisfaction 
that  new  prospects  of  order  were  opening  for  France, 
and  he  saw  the  advantage  of  the  exercise  of  a  firm 
and  tutelary  government  by  a  man  in  whose  talents  the 
people  had  confidence.  But  there  is  nothing  to  show 


that  he  would  have  become  reconciled  to  a  system 
which  was  faithfully  to  carry  out  the  revolutionary 
traditions  in  its  contempt  for  the  rights  of  nations,  or 
that  a  man  who  had  so  retained  his  faith  in  free  gov- 
ernment that  at  the  end  of  the  century  he  could  pen  an 
elaborate  panegyric  upon  the  career  of  Washington, 
would  have  acquiesced  in  a  Government,  beneficial  in- 
deed compared  with  anarchy  from  which  it  sprang,  but 
directly  opposed  to  that  liberal  political  system  which 
had  been  the  distinction  of  Switzerland,  and  whose 
traditions  now  lingered  only  in  America  and  England. 
It  is  not  difficult  to  predict  on  which  side  his  sympathies 
would  have  been  in  the  gigantic  struggle  which  the 
unscrupulous  ambition  of  Napoleon  was  so  soon  to 
force  upon  Europe,  for  he  was  one  of  those  who 
saw  in  the  character  of  the  conqueror,  no  less  than  in 
that  of  the  new  form  of  government,  a  menace  to  the 
peace  of  the  world. 

"  Do  we  find,"  he  asked,  "at  Milan,  at  Pavia,  in 
Malta  or  in  Egypt,  a  man  loyal  to  his  agreements, 
scrupulous  in  respecting  incontestable  rights,  faithful  in 
his  promises,  his  proclamations,  his  solemn  engage- 
ments, brotherly  to  the  friends  of  France,  just  to  neutral 
Powers,  impressed  with  the  feeling  that  war  is  in  itself 
a  sufficient  curse  without  adding  to  it  the  systematic 
ruin  of  citizens  and  of  the  most  useful  public  institu- 
tions, and  conspiracies  against  peaceful  and  flourishing 
Governments  ?  " 

The  consequences  however  of  the  Imperial  regime 
to  France  and  to  Europe  Mallet  du  Pan  did  not  live  to 
see,  and  meanwhile  the  favourable  account  he  gave  in 
the  Mercure  of  the  firm  and  conciliatory  system  of 
government  which  was  being  established  in  France 


exposed  him  to  misrepresentations  and  to  charges  of 
inconsistency  and  altered  opinions  from  persons,  many 
of  whom  were  to  be  found  a  few  years  later  among  the 
most  assiduous  of  courtiers  at  the  Tuileries.  Had  it 
not  been  for  these  repeated  contentions,  which  acquired 
exaggerated  importance  from  the  fact  that  Mallet  and 
his  family  lived  so  much  with  French  emigres,  their 
life  would  have  been  in  many  respects  agreeable.  The 
Mercure  continued  to  be  successful  the  net  receipts 
of  the  first  year  having  exceeded  .£1,000,  and  the 
author's  house  was  frequented  by  many  distinguished 
and  well-informed  people.  But  his  health  had  long 
been  a  source  of  deep  anxiety  to  his  family.  The 
climate  of  London,  '  ce  gouffre  de  vapeurs  infernales} 
as  he  called  it,  was  specially  unfavourable  to  him, 
and  from  London,  except  for  an  occasional  few  days 
at  a  time,  he  could  not  escape  while  he  was  obliged 
every  fortnight  to  turn  out  a  political  essay  of  sixty- 
four  pages  under  all  circumstances  of  health,  spirits 
and  public  intelligence,  without  assistance  except  that 
of  his  son,  who  took  upon  himself  the  business  con- 
nected with  the  printing,  correspondence,  accounts  and 
postal  arrangements.  A  very  severe  winter  had  been 
followed  in  1799  by  a  cold  and  wet  summer  which 
proved  very  injurious  to  Mallet  du  Pan's  health,  and 
the  French  doctor  whom  he  consulted  totally  mis- 
understood his  case  and  assured  his  family  that  there 
was  no  cause  for  anxiety,  though  his  wasted  form  and 
constant  cough  could  leave  no  doubt  of  the  progress 
of  his  malady.1 

1  The  admirable  portrait  by  his  countryman,  J.  F.  Rigaud,  R.A., 
reproduced  at  the  beginning  of  this  volume,  was  painted  about  this 
time,  and  it  gives  the  idea  of  a  man  of  seventy  rather  than  of  his  real 


"In  January  1800,"  writes  the  younger  Mallet, 
"  Lady  Holderness,  the  widow  of  the  last  Earl  of  that 
name,  from  whom  my  father  had  received  many  atten- 
tions, was  so  struck  with  his  altered  looks  that  she  re- 
quested her  physician  Sir  Gilbert  Blane  to  call  on  him. 
Sir  Gilbert  immediately  saw  that  the  case  was  nearly 
hopeless,  and  all  he  could  do  was  to  forbid  a  stimula- 
ting diet,  administer  opiates,  and  entreat  my  father,  if 
possible,  to  withdraw  from  all  occupations." 

The  situation  was  indeed  as  nearly  desperate  as  it 
well  could  be.  After  a  gallant  struggle  for  indepen- 
dence, Mallet  found  himself  face  to  face  with  the 
necessity  of  giving  up  the  sole  provision  for  his  family, 
and  though  he  had  at  least  as  much  claim  on  the  bounty 
of  the  British  Government  as  "the  host  of  plotting 
emigres  who  drew  thousands  from  the  public  purse 
for  the  most  unworthy  and  mischievous  purposes,"  he 
could  not  easily  bring  himself  to  ask  for  such  assistance. 
In  his  extremity,  however,  he  set  out  his  difficulties  in 
a  remarkable  letter  to  his  friend,  Wickham,  then 
Minister  Plenipotentiary  with  the  allied  armies  in 
Germany  : — 

"Whatever  resolution  and  exertion  I  may  summon 
to  my  aid,  I  can  succeed  but  imperfectly  in  overcoming 
the  undermining  influence  of  this  painful  malady.  The 

age,  which  was  under  fifty.  Mallet's  son  speaks  of  the  tone,  truth  of 
expression,  and  careful  finish  of  the  picture,  and  adds  :  "  Those 
friends  who  did  not  see  him  at  this  latter  period  of  his  life  complain 
that  they  do  not  recognise  in  his  picture  the  wonted  animation  of  his 
eye  and  countenance  '  the  precursors  of  the  tongue  ' ;  but  premature 
age  had  quenched  this  living  spark,  and  nothing  was  then  left  of  him 
but  that  pensive  look,  that  softened  and  thoughtful  expression,  on 
which  I  love  to  dwell ;  for  it  is  my  last,  my  dearest  recollection  of 
him ! " 



physicians  I  have  consulted  agree  in  considering  the 
climate  of  London  and  eight  hours  of  sedentary  and 
mental  occupation  as  in  the  highest  degree  injurious  to 
me.  My  present  publication  is  my  sole  means  of  sub- 
sistence. It  has  supplied  all  the  wants  of  my  family 
during  the  past  year  ;  but  independently  of  some  draw- 
backs, such  as  the  income  tax,  and  although  the  sub- 
scriptions have  not  fallen  off,  its  popularity  and  success 
would  be  permanently  injured  by  any  carelessness  of 
composition  :  and  yet  I  feel  that  I  am  no  longer  cap- 
able of  giving  it  the  same  degree  of  interest.  Other 
circumstances  have  rendered  my  task  more  burden- 
some than  it  might  have  been,  such  as  the  ill-humour 
and  complaints  of  Foreign  Ministers,  to  which  I  have 
been  subjected,  and  the  calumnies  and  angry  ebullitions 
of  French  emigrants,  and  more  particularly  of  those 
who  are  distinguished  as  the  King's  confidential  agents. 
Were  I  assured  that  these  hostile  feelings  had  no  in- 
fluence on  the  Government  I  should  have  disregarded 
them ;  but  I  cannot  but  deeply  feel  my  not  having 
received  the  slightest  mark  of  approbation  from  any 
of  the  Ministers.  I  am  altogether  ignorant  of  the 
opinion  they  may  entertain  either  of  myself  or  my 
publication.  I  am  altogether  in  the  dark  as  to  their 
own  views,  and  therefore  without  security  as  to  those 
I  express. 

"  You  have  approved,  and  every  reasonable  man 
must  have  approved,  my  asserting  that  degree  of  in- 
dependence of  tone  and  opinion  which  was  absolutely 
necessary  to  the  character  of  my  work ;  but  in  the 
peculiar  situation  in  which  I  was  placed,  I  might  never- 
theless have  expected  to  be  furnished  with  some  index 
by  which  to  regulate  the  exercise  of  it.  On  no  one 
occasion  have  I  received  any  communication  or  intelli- 
gence from  the  Foreign  Office ;  and  notwithstanding 
the  zeal  and  kindness  of  Mr.  Flint,  even  the  French 
papers  reach  me  irregularly,  and  those  I  do  receive  are 
nearly  useless  for  my  purpose  as  they  are  all  Royalist 


papers,  whereas  what  I  want  is  to  learn  the  views  and 
opinions  of  the  French  Government  and  of  the  faction 
whose  influence  has  hitherto  been  predominant. 

"  Were  I  still  in  the  vigour  of  life  and  with  my 
faculties  unimpaired,  I  might  perhaps  overcome  these 
difficulties ;  but  I  am  altogether  unequal  to  the  task 
of  resisting  the  progress  of  a  painful  and  debilitating 
malady  and  at  the  same  time  of  prosecuting  under  all 
circumstances  of  body  and  mind,  and  with  the  requisite 
energy  of  purpose,  a  work  of  which  a  single  paragraph 
incautiously  expressed  may  compromise  my  reputation 
and  peace  of  mind. 

"  I  have  not  yet  considered,  nor  can  I  at  present 
fix  on  any  plan  by  means  of  which  I  might  supply  the 
wants  of  my  family  if  I  should  be  under  the  necessity 
of  relinquishing  the  Mercure.  Many  friends  urge  my 
having  recourse  to  the  bounty  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment ;  and  it  is  at  their  solicitations  that  I  now  trouble 
you  with  these  personal  details.  But  I  do  not  partici- 
pate in  their  confidence.  I  have  no  claims  on  the 
Government,  and  I  am  not  acquainted  with  any  of  the 
Ministers.  Besides  that,  I  am  the  most  awkward  of 
suitors  when  I  am  personally  concerned.  Indeed,  I 
do  not  see  what  reasonable  motives  I  could  urge  for 
granting  to  a  stranger  what  an  Englishman  does  not 
always  obtain  after  long  public  services. 

"  I  feel  it  due  to  my  family,  however,  to  submit  these 
difficulties  to  you.  Were  any  allowance  to  be  granted 
to  me  by  the  Government,  I  should  at  least  wish  to 
earn  it  in  some  way  or  other,  and  that  I  might  not  eat 
the  bread  of  idleness.  It  seems  not  unreasonable  to 
suppose  in  the  present  aspect  of  affairs  that  some  em- 
ployment connected  with  objects  of  public  utility  might 
be  found  for  me.  Too  much  of  an  invalid  to  be  any 
longer  a  stage-coach  driver,  starting  at  the  same  hour 
in  all  weather,  I  may  possibly  retain  such  a  share  of 
health  as  might  enable  me  to  follow  occupations  of  a 
less  laborious  and  less  critical  nature. 


"  I  rely  on  your  usual  kindness  to  assist  me  with 
your  opinion  and  advice.  If  all  idea  of  interesting  the 
Government  in  my  favour  be  chimerical,  I  will  lose  no 
time  in  turning  my  mind  to  such  literary  resources  as 
may  be  within  my  reach,  and  may  secure  my  family 
against  absolute  want.  Pray  excuse  this  indiscreet 
request.  You  are  the  only  friend  to  whom  I  could 
have  submitted  such  an  application  ;  and  you  are,  I 
believe,  sufficiently  acquainted  with  me  to  feel  assured 
that  the  most  urgent  circumstances  could  alone  have 
wrung  it  from  me.  You  will  receive  it  with  indulgence, 
and  consider  it  as  a  proof  of  my  unbounded  confidence 
in  your  kindness  and  regard." 

This  letter  did  not  reach  Wickham  till  the  following 
March,  by  which  time  Mallet  du  Pan  had  been  obliged 
to  abandon  the  editorship  of  the  Mercure.  Wickham 
replied  on  the  24th  of  March  that  he  would  communi- 
cate Mallet's  situation  and  wishes  to  Lord  Grenville 
by  a  messenger  then  leaving  Augsburg  for  London. 
"  Do  not  be  impatient  if  you  do  not  receive  an 
immediate  answer,"  he  wrote,  "but  rest  assured  that 
I  will  neglect  nothing  that  may  tend  to  serve  you, 
though,  God  knows,  I  shall  not  be  able  to  do  much." 

Meanwhile  Mallet  du  Pan  had  retired  to  Richmond, 
where  Lally-Tollendal  had  a  house  which  he  placed  at 
his  disposal.  On  the  nth  of  April,  three  weeks  only 
before  his  death,  he  wrote  again  to  Mr.  Wickham 
in  the  following  terms  : — 

"The  rapid  progress  of  my  complaint  has  baffled 
all  my  calculations,  and  put  an  end  to  the  views  I 
submitted  to  you  by  a  letter  of  the  2oth  of  January 
last,  to  which  I  have  not  received  any  answer.  Since 
the  date  of  that  letter  I  have  been  in  a  constant  state 
of  suffering,  aggravated  by  the  cruel  efforts  necessary 


for  completing  the  last  number  of  the  Mercure.  At 
last  I  am  compelled  to  close  with  the  thirty-sixth 
number.  My  physician  forbids  application  of  any 
kind,  and  a  total  loss  of  strength  renders  such  direc- 
tions superfluous. 

"  I  have  thought  it  due  to  you,  to  apprise  you 
of  the  termination  of  the  Mercure  previously  to  my 
announcing  it  publicly  in  my  thirty-sixth  number, 
which  is  almost  entirely  the  work  of  friends. 

"Little  did  I  anticipate  this  sad  close  of  my  labours 
when  I  came  to  this  country  under  your  friendly 
auspices.  My  career  of  utility  is  now  closed,  and  the 
suggestions  contained  in  my  last  letter  to  you  rendered 
unavailing.  I  cannot  contemplate  without  the  deepest 
concern  my  own  situation  and  that  of  my  family  ;  left 
as  I  am  without  resources  in  the  dearest  country  in 
Europe,  where  a  long  illness  exhausts  a  small  fortune  ; 
in  an  ungenial  climate,  with  bitter  thoughts  of  the  past, 
and  unavailing  anxiety  for  the  future.  No  resource  is 
left  me  but  resignation  and  trust  in  God  ;  and  to  re- 
commend my  children  to  those  who,  like  you,  have 
never  ceased  to  give  me  proof  of  regard." 

There  is  every  reason  to  believe,  in  spite  of  the 
generous  provision  made  for  his  family  after  his  death, 
that  Wickham's  intervention  would  not  have  availed 
to  procure  assistance  for  Mallet  du  Pan  had  he  lived, 
for  the  moderate  tone  of  his  strictures  on  Bonaparte's 
early  administration,  and  the  strong  sympathy  of 
Grenville  and  Pitt  with  the  ultra- Royalists  seem  to 
have  indisposed  them  towards  him.  Friendly  offices, 
however,  were  not  wanting  from  other  quarters. 

"Malouet1  took  charge  of  the  last  number  of  the 
Mercure :  Lally  lent  us  his  country  house  at  Rich- 
mond :  kind  offers  poured  in  from  all  sides.  Sir  J. 

1  Reminiscences. 


Macpherson  was,  I  believe,  incessant  in  his  solicitations 
with  the  Government,  and  did  not  neglect  his  private 
friends.  Among  those  who  were  foremost  in  generous 
sympathy  I  must  not  forget  Sir  William  Pulteney, 
who  sent  Sir  J.  Macpherson  ^100,  to  be  applied  to 
my  father's  use,  '  in  the  way '  (according  to  his 
considerate  expression)  '  that  would  be  the  least 
painful  to  his  feelings '.  My  father  likewise  received 
on  the  occasion  of  his  announcing  the  suspension  of 
his  work,  many  letters  expressing  the  strongest  sense 
of  respect  for  his  character  and  writings.  Some  other 
kindly  rays  came  in  to  relieve  this  dark  hour.  Mr. 
Rose,  Secretary  of  the  Treasury,  whose  financial  work 
I  had  translated  the  year  before,  most  kindly  gave 
me  a  situation  of  Foreign  Translator  or  Examiner 
of  Public  Accounts  in  the  Audit  Office,  worth  ^250 
per  annum  ;  and  a  few  days  previously  to  my  father's 
death,  Sir  John  Macpherson  received  an  assurance 
from  the  Speaker  of  the  House  of  Commons,  Mr. 
Addington,  that  the  Government  intended  making 
some  provision  for  my  mother.  These  were  great 
alleviations,  and  afforded  as  much  comfort  to  my 
father  as  he  was  then  capable  of  receiving  from 

The  end  can  best  be  told  in  the  words  of  Mallet  du 
Pan's  devoted  son  : — 

"  Count  Lally's  house  at  Richmond  was  situated  in 
a  lane  leading  from  the  church  to  the  bridge.  It  was 
too  small  to  accommodate  all  our  family ;  I  therefore 
remained  in  town,  going  as  often  as  I  could  to  Rich- 
mond. My  father  was  attended  by  Mr.  Dundas,  the 
King's  Serjeant-Surgeon,  afterwards  Sir  David  Dun- 
das  ;  a  man  of  great  penetration,  judgment,  and  skill, 
and  no  less  distinguished  by  his  kindness  and  humanity 
to  the  numerous  French  emigrant  families  then  residing 
at  Richmond.  I  cannot  speak  of  his  attentions  to  my 
father  in  terms  of  sufficient  gratitude.  Seeing  my 


mother's  spirits  extremely  depressed,  he  naturally  dwelt 
on  such  circumstances  of  improvement  as  the  change 
of  air  and  scene  had  produced :  my  father  had  better 
nights  and  a  better  appetite  ;  he  took  several  drives  in 
Richmond  Park,  and  walked  occasionally  in  the  garden, 
all  which  tended  to  confirm  our  hopes.  I  do  not  be- 
lieve, however,  that  he  was  himself  deceived ;  he  was 
more  than  usually  silent,  and  there  was  a  look  of  settled 
pensiveness  and  deep  meditation  in  his  eye,  which  left 
no  doubt  as  to  the  direction  of  his  thoughts.  He  often 
read  the  Bible,  and  sent  for  some  sermons  of  Mouchon, 
a  Genevese  clergyman,  which  had  been  lately  published  ; 
the  only  indications  he  gave  by  which  to  judge  of  the 
state  of  his  mind. 

"  Early  in  May,  some  of  my  friends  (Genevese) 
having  made  a  party  to  go  to  Henley  on  the  Saturday 
and  remain  there  till  the  Monday,  they  pressed  me  to 
accompany  them.  I  had  intended  going  to  my  family 
at  Richmond  on  that  day,  but  receiving  a  letter  from 
my  sister  giving  a  more  comfortable  account  of  my 
father,  I  determined  on  joining  my  friends  on  their 
little  excursion.  On  my  return  on  the  Monday  morn- 
ing into  the  City,  I  found  a  few  lines  from  my  sister 
which  she  had  sent  by  express,  written  in  terms  some- 
what obscure,  but  which  gave  me  reason  to  apprehend 
the  worst.  My  father  had  died  in  the  night ! l  Nothing 
in  the  preceding  day  had  indicated  greater  weakness 
or  danger,  and  he  had  retired  to  rest  as  usual ;  but  on 
approaching  his  bed  at  an  early  hour  my  poor  mother 
found  that  all  was  over,  apparently  without  a  struggle. 

"We  had  in  our  misfortune  all  the  comfort  and 
assistance  that  public  and  private  sympathy  can  give.2 

1  Mallet  du  Pan  died  on  the  loth  of  May  1800,  just  two  years 
after  his  arrival  in  England. 

2  Even  an  obituary  notice  in  The  Times  (igth  May  1800)  was 
not  wanting.    It  is  of  some  interest  as  showing  the  position  Mallet  du 
Pan  occupied  in  public  estimation  at  the  time  of  his  death  : — 

"  M.  Mallet  du  Pan  was  interred  on  Thursday  last  at  Richmond. 


Malouet  and  Lally  took  upon  themselves  all  that  our 
situation  required,  and  they  determined,  somewhat  con- 
trary to  my  own  inclination,  but  perhaps  not  improperly, 
that  my  father  should  have  a  public  funeral.  At 
Geneva  all  funerals  are  public,  inasmuch  as  the  remains 
of  a  citizen  are  followed  to  the  grave  by  a  greater  or 
less  concourse  of  people,  according  to  his  popularity  or 
claims  to  consideration.  Friends  and  persons  of  all 
ranks  join  the  procession  without  any  invitation,  and 
from  their  own  impulse,  as  it  proceeds  to  the  place  of 
burial  in  the  vicinity  of  the  town  ;  and  I  have  seen  the 
funeral  of  a  distinguished  citizen  attended  by  hundreds 
of  people.  Such  would  have  been  the  case  with  my 
father,  had  he  lived  and  died  in  his  own  native  place. 
Here  he  was  known  comparatively  to  few  ;  but  those 
few  were  desirous  of  paying  him  one  last  public  mark  of 
respect.  Count  Lally  was  rather  too  pompous  a  master 
of  the  ceremonies  for  a  Swiss  family  dependent  for  sup- 
port on  the  bounty  of  Government ;  but  his  feelings  and 

He  died  without  pain  or  agony  at  the  house  of  the  Count  de  Lally, 
and  had  nigh  completed  the  5oth  year  of  his  age.  His  countenance 
was  perfectly  serene.  For  a  month  previous  to  his  death,  his  friends 
had  entertained  no  hopes  of  his  recovery.  The  affliction  of  his  family 
and  friends  was  to  him  the  most  convincing  sign  of  his  approaching 

"  Long  before  the  French  Revolution,  M.  Mallet  du  Pan  was  as 
much  distinguished  among  political  writers  for  the  extent  of  his  know- 
ledge and  for  the  vigour  of  his  understanding,  as  for  the  probity  and 
independence  of  his  character.  Born  of  a  noble  family,  which  for 
many  years  has  given  birth  to  magistrates  of  Geneva,  and  to  learned 
men,  M.  Mallet  du  Pan  only  trod  in  the  footsteps  of  his  ancestors  by 
following  the  paths  of  literature.  The  principles  of  religion,  of  social 
order,  of  manners,  of  laws,  of  the  rights  of  the  people  and  of  princes, 
and  the  history  of  man  in  general,  were  the  subjects  which  most 
employed  his  attention,  until  the  revolutionary  tempest  developed  the 
whole  energy  and  wisdom  of  his  mind.  His  writings  since  the  year 
1789  form  a  most  valuable  collection.  He  was  not  a  party- writer — 
neither  willing  to  offend  or  flatter  any  one." 


manner  were  so  warm  and  energetic  that  he  had  his 
own  way,  not  only  in  marshalling  the  funeral  ceremony, 
but  in  giving  an  account  of  it  in  the  Courier  de  Londres 
somewhat  highly  coloured.  The  Prince  de  Poix,  Lord 
Sheffield,  Mr.  Fagel,  Greffier  to  the  United  States  of 
Holland,  and  afterwards  Minister  of  the  Netherlands  in 
this  country,  Mr.  Trevor  afterwards  Lord  Hampden, 
Sir  John  Macpherson,  Mr.  Whitshed  Keene,  Member 
for  Montgomeryshire  and  afterwards  Father  of  the 
House  of  Commons,  Count  Lally,  and  Malouet,  were 
the  pall-bearers  ;  Mr.  Granville  Penn,  Baron  Maseres, 
Mr.  Ryder,  Mr.  Wollaston,  Mr.  Sparrow,  Mr.  Reeves, 
Mr.  Bowles,  Mr.  John  Gifford,  and  many  other  persons 

"  A  few  days  subsequently  to  my  father's  death,  Mr. 
Addington  communicated  to  Sir  J.  Macpherson  that  it 
was  the  intention  of  Government  to  grant  a  pension  of 
,£200  on  the  Civil  List  to  my  mother.  The  various 
deductions  to  which  salaries  and  pensions  on  the  Civil 
List  are  subjected,  reduced  the  amount  to  about  ^150 
per  annum  ;  but  even  this  was  very  considerable  and 
unexpected  favour,  often  sought  in  vain  by  persons  of 
great  family  and  connection  in  reduced  circumstances. 
It  appears  by  a  note  from  Mr.  Trevor  to  Malouet,  that 
Mr.  Pitt  had  contemplated  this  act  of  generous  kind- 
ness towards  my  family  previously  to  the  Speaker's 
application  to  him  ;  and  it  is  therefore  probable  that 
Mr.  Wickham's  friendly  representations  to  Lord  Gren- 
ville  had  not  been  disregarded.  My  situation  in  the 
Audit  Office  and  my  mother's  pension  constituted  a 
very  comfortable  provision  for  us ;  but  my  father's 
friends  nevertheless  wished  that  some  public  mark  of 
interest  should  be  given  to  our  family ;  and  Sir  Wil- 
liam Pulteney,  Sir  J.  Macpherson,  and  Mr.  Whitshed 
Keene  set  on  foot  a  public  subscription  with  that  view, 
and  they  fixed  £10  IDS.  as  the  maximum  to  be  sub- 
scribed by  any  one  individual,  by  which  means  they 
hoped  that  a  great  number  of  respectable  persons 


might  be  induced  to  join  in  this  tribute  of  respect. 
They  were  not  disappointed ;  the  subscriptions  rilled 
rapidly,  and  soon  amounted  to  upwards  of  ^1,000,  of 
which  the  Prince  of  Brazil  subscribed  ^100.  Debts 
were  likewise  due  to  my  father  by  booksellers  both  in 
England  and  at  Hamburg,  in  respect  of  the  sale  of  the 
Mercure,  and  although  that  class  of  persons  are  among 
the  worst  of  debtors,  about  ,£1,200  was  ultimately 
collected,  which  was  settled  on  my  mother,  together 
with  the  amount  of  the  public  subscription." 

It  may  be  added  that  Madame  Mallet  du  Pan  after 
a  few  months  spent  in  England  at  Guildford  and  the 
neighbourhood  settled  in  Geneva,  where  her  daughter 
Amelie  married  in  1803  Dr.  Jean  Pierre  Colladon ;  the 
younger  daughter,  who  was  in  delicate  health,  re- 
maining with  her  mother.  She  survived  for  sixteen 
years  the  husband  whose  adverse  fortunes  she  had 
shared  with  so  much  courage  and  devotion.  The  elder 
son's  career  has  been  alluded  to  in  the  preface,  the 
second  son,  Henri,  a  very  promising  young  man,  went 
into  a  business  house  in  London,  but  did  not  long 
survive  his  father,  for  a  melancholy  accident  caused  his 
death  at  Geneva  while  on  a  holiday  visit  to  his  mother. 

NOTE. — The  following  remarkable  appreciation  of  Mallet  du  Pan 
by  his  daughter,  Madame  Colladon  (who  inherited  much  of  his  talent 
and  transmitted  it  to  her  son,  the  late  M.  Eugene  Colladon  of 
Geneva),  may  be  inserted  in  this  place.  It  will  serve  as  preface 
to  the  chapter  in  which  I  have  brought  together  the  various  judg- 
ments on  his  character  and  career,  and  endeavoured  to  describe  his 
place  as  a  commentator  on  the  Revolution  : — 

"  Ce  qui  me  parait  le  plus  interessant  a  dire  dans  la  vie  de  mon 
pere  c'est  de  peindre  le  caractere  moral  qui  accompagnait  son  esprit. 
II  faut  parler  de  cette  independance  d'opinion  qui  lui  a  suscite  tant 
d'ennemis,  et  que  tous  les  gens  des  divers  partis  ont  si  souvent  et  si 

1  Reminiscences. 


vainement  tente  d'alt6rer ;  de  ce  courage  avec  lequel  il  brava  pendant 
les  annees  de  la  Revolution  les  menaces,  les  imprecations,  les  ecrits 
avoues  et  anonymes,  des  ennemis  de  la  bonne  cause.  J'ai  vu  des 
revolutionnaires  venir  chez  lui  pour  le  forcer  a  retracter  tel  ou  tel 
article  de  son  journal,  en  le  mena9ant  de  le  faire  perir  s'il  r6sistait  a 
leurs  ordres,  et  mon  pere  leur  repondre  avec  une  fermete  pleine  de 
moderation  et  de  noblesse,  qu'on  pouvait  le  faire  assassiner,  mais  que 
jamais  on  ne  1'engagerait  a  desavouer  les  principes  qu'il  professait. 
On  a  vu  un  Protestant  defendre  de  tout  son  talent,  et  avec  I'ame  qui 
animait  ses  6crits,  la  Religion  Catholique ;  et  un  R6publicain  defendre 
les  Rois,  parce  que  cette  cause  6tait  celle  de  la  morale  et  de  la  vertu. 
Menace  de  toutes  parts,  entoure  de  craintes  de  ses  amis  et  de  sa 
famille,  il  est  toujours  reste  inebranlable,  et  pret  a  payer  de  sa  tete 
la  cause  qu'il  soutenait.  Avec  la  sante  la  plus  frele,  il  a  constam- 
ment  montre  une  intrepidite  a  toute  epreuve ;  avec  la  fortune  la  plus 
bornee,  le  plus  noble  desinteressement ;  et  I'el6vation  de  son  caractere 
n'est  pas  moins  remarquable  que  ses  talents.  Sa  simplicite  et  sa 
modestie  etaient  celles  d'un  philosophe.  Des  gens  des  provinces, 
des  personnes  de  tout  rang  venaient  lui  rendre  graces,  le  supplier 
de  continuer  sa  dangereuse  tache,  et  lui  adresser  les  eloges  les  plus 
flatteurs,  sans  qu'il  en  prit  jamais  aucun  amour-propre  et  aucune 
importance.  Jusqu'a  son  arrivee  a  Paris,  la  vie  et  les  ecrits  de  M. 
Mallet  n'offrent  rien  de  remarquable.  Associe  a  Linguet  dans  la 
redaction  de  ses  annales,  on  distinguait  deja  sans  doute  1'esprit  et  le 
talent ;  mais  cet  esprit  et  ce  talent  n'ont  acquis  toute  leur  force  que 
par  1'interet  de  la  cause  qu'ils  ont  ete  appeles  a  soutenir.  Cette  verve, 
cette  dnergie,  cette  justesse  d' observation,  cette  chaleur  in6puisable, 
cette  hardiesse  dans  1'expression,  tenaient  autant  a  1'ame  qu'au 
talent  de  mon  pere ;  et  ont  affiche  un  cachet  particulier  et  durable  a 
des  ecrits  presque  toujours  ephemeres,  et  dont  1'effet  disparaitrait 
d'ordinaire  avec  1'evenement  du  jour  qu'ils  racontent.  On  a  reproche 
a  M.  Mallet  de  1'incorrection  dans  le  style.  Le  reproche  est  fonde, 
mais  il  faut  se  souvenir  qu'il  etait  etranger.  II  arriva  a  Paris  en 
1783  avec  sa  femme  et  ses  enfants,  auxquels  il  n'alaisse  pour  heritage 
que  son  nom  et  la  protection  de  ses  nombreux  amis.  L'exterieur  de 
M.  Mallet  etait  agreable.  Sa  figure  noble,  expressive,  et  spirituelle, 
avail  quelque  chose  d'important.  Ses  occupations  et  sa  mauvaise 
sante  rendaient  sa  vie  sedentaire.  Elle  1'eut  ete  par  gout.  Recherche 
par  la  meilleure  societe  de  Paris  et  de  Londres,  il  se  bornait  a  un 


petit  cercle  d'amis  et  d'hommes  de  lettres  qui  se  reunissaient  chez 
lui  presque  tous  les  soirs.  II  avail  de  la  gaiete  dans  la  conversation, 
parlait  avec  abondance  et  facilite,  et  s'animait  surtout  chez  les  autres. 
La  promenade  et  la  musique,  voila  ses  seules  recreations  au  dehors ! 
Grand  amateur  des  beautes  de  la  Nature,  il  s'est  promene  tant  que 
ses  forces  le  lui  ont  permis ;  et  dans  les  derniers  jours  de  sa  vie  il 
jouissait  encore  des  belles  vues  de  Richmond. 

"II  s'est  eteint  sans  souffrance  apres  une  longue  maladie  de 
poitrine:  quittant  sans  regret  une  vie  troublee  par  des  soucis,  des 
inquietudes,  et  des  orages  de  toute  espece." 




IT  is  not  too  much  to  say  of  Mallet  du  Pan  that  at  a 
period  when  political  writing  was  incomparably  more 
brilliant  and  influential  than  it  has  since  become,  he 
had  before  his  death  taken  foremost  rank  among  the 
opponents  of  the  revolutionary  movement.1  Trusted 
as  he  had  been  by  Louis  XVI.,  and  finally  expelled 
from  his  native  land  by  Napoleon,  his  articles  and 
pamphlets  had  all  through  the  Revolution  been  largely 
circulated  in  France,  they  had  been  read  and  translated 
in  Germany  and  in  England.  He  had  been  consulted 
by  most  of  the  leading  statesmen  and  sovereigns  of  the 
Continent,  and  his  services  to  the  common  cause  had 
obtained  from  Pitt  at  least  the  acknowledgment  of  a 
pension  for  his  widow  and  a  place  for  his  son.  Yet  his 
name  sank  almost  at  once  into  comparative  obscurity ; 
he  was  ignored  by  all  the  earlier  historians  of  the 
Revolution,  by  Thiers,  Lamartine,  Louis  Blanc,  Mi- 
chelet  and  Carlyle,  and  it  was  not  until  1851  that  the 
publication  of  his  Memoirs  by  M.  Sayous  under  the 

1  The  opinion  of  the  Prussian  publicist  Gentz  is  an  adequate 
piece  of  evidence  on  this  point.  See  an  article  in  the  Spectateur  du 
Nord,  in  August  1800.  There  is  hardly  a  phrase  in  this  short  but 
discriminating  appreciation  of  Mallet  du  Pan  which  recent  criticism 
has  not  endorsed. 


auspices  of  his  son  began  the  work,  resumed  at  a 
later  date  by  M.  Taine,  of  making  known  his  life  and 
opinions  and  restoring  him  to  his  place  as  one  of  the 
three  or  four  contemporary  observers  of  the  French 
Revolution  whose  writings  are  of  capital  importance 
in  the  history  of  the  time.  Disinterred  from  the  dust 
of  libraries  and  the  recesses  of  government  archives, 
they  emerge  to-day,  to  quote  M.  Taine's  expression, 
as  "strong  and  living  as  at  the  time  they  first  issued 
from  his  hand  ".  "  On  £crira  1'histoire  de  la  Re" volu- 
tion autrement  que  Mallet  du  Pan,"  writes  M.  Valette, 
"on  ne  1'ecrira  plus  sans  lui  ni  contre  lui." l 

The  main  cause  of  the  varieties  of  fortune  which 
the  reputation  of  Mallet  du  Pan  has  undergone,  of  his 
long  neglect  and  of  the  reaction  in  his  favour,  is  to  be 
found  in  a  remark  of  his  own  that  half  a  century  at  least 
must  pass  before  an  impartial  account  of  the  Revolution 
would  be  possible.  The  fury  of  revolutionary  and 
anti-revolutionary  partisans,  which  in  life  isolated  a 
man  of  the  moderate  opinions  of  Mallet,  long  continued 
to  assail  his  memory  and  prevent  an  appreciation  of  his 
superiority.  Forced  to  fight  side  by  side  with  allies 
with  whose  objects  and  hopes  he  was  not  in  sympathy, 
he  was,  as  we  have  seen,  feared  and  distrusted  alike  by 
the  Royalists  to  whom  the  Monarchies,  was  as  odious 
as  the  Jacobin,  and  by  the  men  of  the  Revolution  who 
felt  that  he  was  the  most  dangerous  because  the  most 
intelligent  of  their  enemies.  The  success  of  the  doc- 
trines and  of  the  champions  of  the  Revolution  en- 
abled them  from  the  first  to  monopolise  the  attention  of 
the  world ;  the  opposition  to  it  was  identified  with  the 

1  Gaspard  Valette,  Mallet  du  Pan  et  la  Revolution  Franfaise, 


cause  of  the  adherents  of  absolute  monarchy,  and  the 
enlightened  Royalists  shared  with  them  the  discredit 
of  failure.  Carlyle  only  expressed  the  general  feeling 
of  his  own  time  when  he  wrote  to  Mallet's  son  on  the 
publication  of  the  memoirs  : — 

"At  an  early  period  of  my  studies  on  the  French 
Revolution,  I  found  the  Royalist  side  of  that  huge 
controversy  to  be  an  almost  completely  mad  one, 
destined,  on  the  whole,  to  die  for  ever ;  and  thus, 
except  where  Royalists  had  historical  facts  to  teach  me, 
had,  after  a  short  time,  rather  to  shun  than  seek 
acquaintance  with  them,  finding  in  their  speculative 
notions  nothing  but  distress  and  weariness  for  me,  and 
generally,  instead  of  illumination  in  my  researches, 
mere  darkness  visible.  It  was  in  this  way  that  I  had 
as  good  as  missed  Mallet  du  Pan,  confounding  him 
with  the  general  cohue,  from  whom  I  now  find  he  was 
widely  and  peculiarly  distinguished,  very  much  to  his 
honour  indeed.  Of  all  writers  on  the  Royalist  side- 
indeed,  I  may  say,  on  any  side — Mallet  seems  to  me 
to  have  taken  incomparably  the  truest  view  of  the 
enormous  phenomena  he  was  in  the  midst  of." 

It  is,  however,  only  in  recent  years  that  historical 
criticism  has  awarded  their  true  rank  among  the  ob- 
servers of  the  Revolution  to  the  liberal  or  constitu- 
tional Royalists,  and  endorsed  Carlyle's  generous  if 
somewhat  naive  recognition  of  Mallet  du  Pan  as  the 
best  exponent  of  the  only  true  and  fruitful  Royalism 
of  the  revolutionary  epoch.  The  earlier  historians 
inevitably  write  as  partisans  of  the  great  Revolution  ; 
they  appeal  to  the  feelings  of  a  generation  anxious, 
not  so  much  to  explore  the  deeper  causes  of  the 
convulsion  or  to  reason  about  its  consequences,  as  to 
reconcile  themselves  to  &fait  accompli,  to  seek  excuses 


for  much  that  had  been  dishonouring  to  the  national 
character  and  to  human  nature  itself,  to  exalt  the 
triumph  of  the  principles  which,  for  good  or  evil,  had 
transformed  France  and  Europe.  To  men  in  this 
temper  Mallet  du  Pan  seemed  the  advocate,  power- 
ful, impassioned,  perhaps  bitter,  of  a  lost  cause ;  they 
were  unable  and  unwilling  to  examine  the  grounds 
of  his  impeachment  of  their  cherished  ideals,  and  to 
distinguish  what  was  controversial  in  it  from  what  was  of 
enduring  historical  value.  But  the  seeming  uselessness 
of  his  labours  in  life  and  the  subsequent  period  of 
neglect  were  not  to  be  followed  by  permanent  oblivion. 
To  provide  materials  for  history  was  the  object  which 
Mallet  du  Pan  as  journalist-observer  had  ever  in  view. 
This  was  the  ambition  which  sustained  him  in  the 
defeat  of  his  political  hopes  and  efforts.  He  was 
favoured  by  the  character  of  his  genius  and  the  great- 
ness of  the  field  for  its  exercise,  and  his  object  and  his 
ambition  have  accordingly  been  crowned,  in  the  opinion 
of  the  best  authorities  of  a  later  age  and  wider  outlook,  by 
the  fullest  measure  of  success.  Among  the  many  who 
have  recognised  and  proclaimed  the  significance  of  his  at- 
titude and  the  importance  of  his  work  three  names  stand 
out,  those  of  Sainte-Beuve,  Thureau-Dangin  and  Taine  : 
the  critic  so  deeply  versed  in  the  history  and  literature 
of  France,  the  historian  of  parties  under  the  Restora- 
tion, and  the  great  thinker  who  studied  the  body  politic 
in  the  spirit  of  the  physiologist.  The  memory  of  Mallet 
du  Pan  owes  everything  to  the  appreciation  of  such 
writers  as  these  ; l  but  the  thoroughness  and  insight  of 

1  No  better,  no  more  complete  or  more  discriminating  account 
of  Mallet's  commentators  is  to  be  found  than  that  contained  in  M. 
Gaspard  Valette's  monograph. 


his  own  work  are  such  that  historians  can  do  little  but 
repeat  his  judgments  on  the  causes  which  created  and 
prolonged  the  convulsion,  his  analysis  of  the  Jacobin 
dogma  and  its  results,  his  criticism  of  the  fatal  inepti- 
tude of  the  Royalist  chiefs  and  their  European  allies. 
These  judgments,  this  analysis,  this  criticism  remain 
an  integral  part  of  the  history  of  the  time ;  they  have 
almost  become  its  commonplaces. 

A  subsidiary  but  hardly  less  powerful  cause  of  the 
oblivion  in  which  the  name  of  Mallet  du  Pan  so  long 
remained  was  the  fugitive  form  in  which  his  writings 
appeared.  His  most  valuable  work  is  contained  in 
newspapers,  of  which  probably  not  half  a  dozen  files 
now  exist ;  in  pamphlets,  almost  equally  difficult  to 
procure  ;  and  in  diplomatic  reports,  which,  until  the 
publication  of  the  Vienna  correspondence,  remained 
buried  in  government  archives.  And  although  the 
substance  of  his  work  has  now  become  known,  the 
growth  of  Mallet's  reputation  in  France  has  perhaps 
been  hindered  by  the  circumstance  that  though  he 
wrote  in  French,  and  therefore  appeals  primarily  to 
a  French  public,  he  was  not  a  Frenchman,  and  was 
markedly  wanting  in  sympathy  with  French  ideas  on 
government,  religion  and  philosophy. 

The  Revolution  ended  by  throwing  him  into  a  posi- 
tion of  political  antagonism  to  France,  and  its  excesses 
betrayed  him  into  expressing  his  opinion  of  the  national 
character  in  harsh  and  unjust  terms.  National  as  well 
as  merely  political  prejudice  may  therefore  be  account- 
able for  the  fact  that  while  the  periodical  writings  of 
Rivarol,  of  Camille  Desmoulins,  and  others  have  been 
collected  and  published,  nothing  of  the  kind  has  been 
attempted  in  the  case  of  Mallet  du  Pan.  Yet  nothing 



would  be  easier  than  to  put  together  from  his  scattered 
writings  a  volume  which  would  form  a  most  valuable 
historical  commentary  on  the  whole  course  of  the 

To  M.  Taine  of  course  is  due  in  these  later  years 
a  second  revival  of  interest  in  the  position  and  writings 
of  Mallet  du  Pan.  In  his  great  work  on  the  Revolution 
the  historian  quoted  and  extolled  him  as  the  "  most 
competent,  the  most  judicious,  the  most  profound  ob- 
server of  the  Revolution,"  and  he  followed  this  up  by 
a  remarkable  preface  to  the  Vienna  correspondence 
(1884),  in  which  he  expressed  his  unbounded  admira- 
tion for  Mallet  du  Pan,  an  admiration  born  of  sympathy 
no  less  with  the  writer's  methods  than  with  his  opinions. 
Again  he  placed  Mallet  du  Pan  in  the  forefront.  "  Four 
observers,"  he  wrote,  "  understood  from  the  beginning 
the  character  and  bearing  of  the.  French  Revolution, 
Rivarol,  Malouet,  Gouverneur  Morris  and  Mallet  du 
Pan,  the  last  named  more  profoundly  than  the  rest." 
Taine's  glowing  and  eloquent  eulogies,  though  they 
have  excited  a  good  deal  of  passionate  controversy, 
have  apparently  fixed  the  position  of  the  publicist,  and 
must  form  the  basis  of  any  account  of  his  qualifications 
as  a  contemporary  historian  of  the  great  events  of 
which  he  was  the  witness. 

He  has  often  been  described  as  a  political  philo- 
sopher, but  his  earliest  commentator,  Gentz,  justly 
remarked  that  he  had  but  little  inclination  towards 
profound  or  systematic  philosophic  study.  The  philo- 
sophic doctrines  which  enslaved  his  contemporaries 
and  which  had  such  momentous  political  results  never 
obtained  any  serious  hold  on  his  mind.  He  belonged,  as 
his  biographer,  Sayous,  has  pointed  out,  to  the  Genevese 


school  of  "precise  observation  guided  by  moral  sense". 
It  was  the  positive  side  of  political  science  which  chiefly 
interested  him ;  economics,  and  above  all  history  in 
all  its  aspects,  attracted  him  from  the  first ;  and  his 
writings  abound  in  historical  sketches,  allusions  and 
parallels.  He  contemplated  at  one  time  an  historical 
work  on  the  causes  which  led  to  the  French  Revolu- 
tion, and  had  collected  materials  for  it  which  were  lost 
when  his  property  was  seized  in  Paris ;  and  a  few 
years  later  Necker  told  him  that  he  considered  him 
marked  out  by  his  age  and  his  talents  to  write  a 
complete  history  of  the  whole  memorable  epoch.  The 
rush  of  events,  the  want  of  leisure,  and  a  premature 
death  made  any  such  task  impossible ;  but  the  life- 
long habit  of  carefully  verifying  facts  and  of  organising 
and  sifting  sources  of  intelligence  gave  a  quite  unusual 
value  to  his  journalistic  work,  and  was  one  of  the 
secrets  of  his  usefulness  as  a  political  adviser.  He  had 
all  the  gifts  which  might  have  made  him  a  remarkable 
historian  ;  they  fitted  him  equally  for  the  occupation 
which  fell  to  his  lot,  that  of  describing  and  commenting 
on  contemporary  politics,  '  I'histoire  a  la  main '. 

Another  marked  advantage  enjoyed  by  him  in 
this  capacity  was  the  independence  of  his  position  and 
of  his  character.  He  was  not  a  Frenchman — he  was 
born  a  republican  —  it  was  not  therefore  by  royalist 
sentiment  that  he  was  led  to  support  the  French 
Monarchy.  A  Genevese  Protestant  of  Huguenot 
descent  could  not  be  influenced  by  religious  passion 
in  his  defence  of  the  Catholic  clergy  and  the  old 
ecclesiastical  establishments  of  Europe.  Official  ties 
were  not  likely  to  hamper  a  journalist  whose  connec- 
tion with  the  ministerial  system  of  France  had  been 


confined  to  transactions  with  the  censors  of  the  Paris 
press ;  and  the  obligations  of  party  can  hardly  be 
said  to  have  existed  for  one  who  was  a  centre  of 
attack  from  all  the  extreme  factions  to  which  France 
and  Europe  were  then  a  prey.  His  citizenship  of  a 
small  neutral  State,  his  knowledge  of  the  principal 
countries  of  Europe,  his  open  and  liberal  mind  which 
had  assimilated  what  was  best  in  the  prevailing  political 
philosophy  of  the  time,  its  cosmopolitan  spirit,  helped  to 
make  him  a  no  less  capable  and  impartial  observer  of 
the  other  European  States  than  he  was  of  France. 

Nor  was  his  judgment  ever  disturbed  by  the  prompt- 
ings of  self-interest.  Forced  to  rely  on  his  own  exer- 
tions for  the  support  of  his  family,  and  for  what  appealed 
even  more  strongly  to  him,  the  freedom  to  speak  his 
mind  on  questions  of  public  interest,  he  was  never 
tempted  to  compromise  his  own  opinion  for  the  sake  of 
personal  advantage.  He  was  probably  a  unique  example 
in  an  age  of  press  corruption  of  a  journalist  who  never 
accepted  a  pension  or  a  gift,  or  yielded  to  intimidation. 
''Louis  XVI?  he  once  proudly  said,  'mhonora  de  sa  con- 
fiance  sansjamais  m^honorer  de  ses  bienf aits'  We  know 
at  what  a  cost  and  with  what  splendid  moral  courage 
he  vindicated  his  right  to  the  title  of  Royalist  during  the 
first  three  years  of  the  Revolution,  and  with  what  haughty 
independence  the  "  Citizen  of  Geneva "  spoke  when 
necessary  in  later  years  to  Ministers  and  Monarchs 
alike.  He  did  not  hesitate  to  alienate  the  sympathy 
and  patronage  of  Louis  XVIII.  by  the  rough  frankness 
with  which,  in  response  to  the  royal  advances,  he  con- 
demned the  declaration  of  the  Prince  at  his  nominal 
accession  to  the  throne,  and  earned  Sainte-Beuve's 
designation  of  the  'paysan  du  Danube  de  I' emigration' 


It  would  be  impossible  to  find  in  his  whole  career 
an  instance  of  a  demand  for  a  favour  or  for  assist- 
ance save  in  his  pathetic  death  -  bed  appeal  to 
Wickham.  His  courageous  independence  was  the 
quality  most  insisted  on  by  his  daughter  in  her  account 
of  his  character,  it  was  undoubtedly  the  great  source 
of  his  moral  power,  and  it  was  allied  to  other  fine 
qualities,  as  well  as  to  some  defects,  which  are  trace- 
able to  his  Huguenot  and  Calvinist  ancestry  and  to 
his  citizenship  of  Geneva.  His  tenacity  and  com- 
bativeness  in  matters  of  opinion,  his  absorption  in 
politics  and  his  mastery  of  the  whole  armoury  of 
political  argument,  his  uncompromising  adherence  to 
standards  of  right  and  wrong  in  public  and  private 
life,  are  distinctively  Genevese  characteristics ;  as  also 
are  the  want  of  pliancy,  of  geniality  and  of  humour 
except  of  a  rather  sardonic  kind,  which  no  doubt 
diminished  his  influence  in  some  of  the  circumstances 
of  his  life.  It  would,  however,  be  a  complete  mistake 
to  picture  him  as  naturally  of  a  gloomy  or  pessimistic 
disposition,  or  even  as  soured  by  political  disappoint- 
ments and  private  anxieties.  His  daughter's  account 
reveals  his  enjoyment  of  congenial  society  and  of  his 
home  life,  and  his  letters  show  the  footing  of  pleasant 
and  affectionate  intimacy  on  which  he  stood  with  a 
large  circle  of  friends. 

Qualities  such  as  these,  even  combined  as  they 
were  in  his  case  with  singular  advantages  of  oppor- 
tunity and  training,  are  not  in  themselves  sufficient 
to  make  a  man's  work  live.  Mallet  du  Pan  has 
survived  because  he  possessed  a  high  degree  of 
political  capacity.  In  the  concluding  portion  of  the 
letter  quoted  above,  Carlyle  testified  to  the — 


"rare  sagacity  with  which  Mallet  judged  the  enor- 
mous phenomena  he  was  in  the  midst  of.  Almost 
from  the  first  he  sees,  if  not  across  and  through  it, 
as  I  might  say,  yet  steadily  into  the  centre  of  it,  and 
refuses  to  be  bewildered,  as  others  are,  by  what  is 
of  the  superficies  merely.  This  which,  at  fifty  years' 
distance  from  the  phenomena,  were  still  a  proof  of 
some  clearness  of  vision,  amounted  in  Mallet's  case  to 
nearly  the  highest  proof  that  can  be  given  of  that  noble 
quality,  and,  we  may  say,  of  many  other  noble  qualities 
which  are  indissolubly  of  kin  to  that.  On  the  whole," 
he  continues,  "  I  have  learned  very  much  to  respect 
your  brave  father  from  this  book.  A  fine,  robust,  clear, 
and  manful  intellect  was  in  him,  all  directed  towards 
practical  solidities,  and  none  of  it  playing  truant  in  the 
air ;  a  quiet  valour  that  defies  all  fortune — and  he  had 
some  rather  ugly  fortune  to  defy — everywhere  integ- 
rity, simplicity,  and  in  that  wild  element  of  journalism, 
too,  with  its  sad  etceteras,  the  '  assurance  of  a  man '. 
What  still  more  attracts  me  to  him,  I  feel  that  his  excel- 
lences are  not  such  as  appeal  to  the  vulgar,  but  only  to 
the  wiser ;  his  style,  for  example,  is  not  what  is  called 
poetic,  but  it  is  full  of  rough  idiomatic  vigour  and 
conveys  a  true  meaning  to  you,  stamped  coin  ;  so  of 
his  conduct  too,  this  is  not  drugged  liquor,  mock  cham- 
pagne, or  other  pleasant  poisonous  stufif,  this  is  cool 
crystal  water  from  the  everlasting  well :  this  will  hurt 
nobody  that  drinks  of  it." 

Taine  insists  again  and  again  on  his  competence  as 
a  statesman,  the  competence  which  comes  by  nature ; 
the  imagination  and  tact  which,  combined  with  know- 
ledge, go  to  make  up  the  political  faculty.  His  power 
of  observation  he  compares  to  that  of  the  physician ; 
his  work  was  a  "  monograph  of  the  revolutionary 
fever,"  his  analysis  of  public  opinion  was  a  "moral 
dissection".  His  judgments  upon  assemblies,  parties 


and  groups,  upon  nobles,  £migr£s  and  clergy,  "royalists 
in  France  and  royalists  in  emigration,  Parisians  or 
provincials,  administrators  of  the  Constituent  Assembly, 
proconsuls  of  the  Convention,  functionaries  of  the  Direc- 
tory, men  of  the  Terror,  of  Thermidor,  of  Vende"miaire, 
Feuillants,  Girondists  and  Jacobins,"  are  described  by 
Taine  as  exact  and  penetrating.  "  No  one  except 
Burke  has  so  perfectly  comprehended  the  Jacobins, 
their  fanaticism,  their  sectarian  instincts  and  methods, 
the  logic  of  their  dogmas,  their  ascendency  over  the 
illiterate  or  half-educated,  the  might  and  maleficence 
of  their  dreams,  their  aptitude  for  destruction,  their 
incapacity  for  construction,  and  their  appeal  to  the 
passions  of  murder  and  dissolution." 

Mallet's  contemporary,  Gentz,  is  hardly  less  em- 
phatic on  the  point  when  he  speaks  of  "  the  sane 
appreciation  of  the  real  value  of  political  methods  and 
systems,  the  firmness  and  certainty  of  judgment  which 
distinguished  in  an  instant  truth  from  illusion,  and 
measures  which  were  practicable  from  those  which 
were  chimerical ". 

It  was  not  indeed  the  lot  of  Mallet  du  Pan  to 
show  this  competence  as  a  minister  or  man  of  action. 
He  showed  it,  however,  as  no  other  observer  had 
the  opportunity  of  doing,  week  by  week  and  month 
by  month,  in  his  analyses  and  predictions  throughout 
the  course  of  the  Revolution,  "  analyses,"  says  Taine, 
"  always  exact,  predictions  almost  always  true".  Sainte- 
Beuve  makes  the  same  comment.  "In  the  difficult 
business  of  seizing  upon  and  comprehending  in  a 
moment  the  stormy  and  complicated  events  which 
unfolded  and  crowded  themselves  upon  him  no  one 
is  more  often  right,  pen  in  hand,  than  he ; "  and  he 


sums  him   up  as  an   '  Esprit  fort  et  sensJ,  ires  clair- 
voyant et  tres  prdvoyant '. 

Clearness  of  vision,  then,  Mallet  du  Pan  possessed 
by  the  common  consent  of  all  his  commentators  in  an 
eminent  degree.  But  this  rarest  of  political  gifts  would 
hardly  have  served  his  reputation  with  posterity  if  he 
had  not  also  possessed  the  gift  of  style.  With  the 
exception  of  M.  Taine,  his  French  critics,  if  an  Eng- 
lish writer  may  venture  to  express  an  opinion,  hardly 
do  justice  to  the  power  of  the  weapon  which  gave  him 
his  immense  renown  with  his  contemporaries,  which 
made  him  so  useful  to  his  friends  and  so  dreaded  by 
his  opponents.  Sainte-Beuve  himself,  while  paying 
tribute  to  the  strength  and  rugged  energy  of  his  writ- 
ing, denies  him  grace,  brilliancy,  ease ;  and  others  are 
naturally  struck  by  the  want  of  correctness,  of  tenue,  of 
polish,  by  the  absence  of  conscious  art,  by  the  brusque 
homeliness  of  some  of  his  phrases,  the  over- vehement 
expression  of  some  of  his  rebukes.  All  this  was  the 
reflection  of  the  writer's  own  nature,  his  combativeness, 
his  absorption  in  his  ideas,  in  the  presentation  of  the 
truth  as  he  saw  it,  his  contempt  for  '  F&crivaillerie '  as  a 
profession.  In  his  case  the  style  was  indeed  the  man. 
Reflection,  liberty  and  conviction  gave  the  tone  of 
manly  reason,  of  strong  intelligence,  which  appear  in 
every  line  he  wrote.  The  follies  and  crimes  of  the 
Revolution  revolted  his  moral  sense  and  stirred  the 
fiery  indignation  with  which  he  lashed  them.  Mallet's 
contemporaries,  to  whom  his  best  writings  were  acces- 
sible and  familiar,  recognised  these  essential  qualities 
of  his  style.  De  Pradt,  no  mean  judge  of  polemical 
writing,  classes  him  as  one  of  the  four  great  writers 
produced  by  the  Revolution,  the  others  being  Madame 

STYLE  345 

de  Stael,  Burke,  and  Rivarol  (in  his  Journal  politique 
national).  Gentz  speaks  of  the  abundance  and  energy 
of  his  expression  ;  his  satire  and  his  eloquence.  Elo- 
quence, indeed,  says  Taine  in  one  of  his  most  brilliant 
pages,  he  had,  if  no  other  of  the  writer's  gifts,  eloquence 
which  was  the  outcome  of  a  belief  in  the  justice  of  his 
cause,  fortified  by  proofs  which  filled  his  mind  and 
heart  to  overflowing.  The  reader  is  carried  along  by 
a  '  courant  intarissable  de  logique  et  de  passion]  by 
picturesque  expressions,  by  striking  images,  by  rapid 
generalisations,  by  arguments  and  proofs,  "  marshalled 
and  launched  like  an  assaulting  column,"  by  an  ora- 
torical compass  "which  Mirabeau  never  equalled  and 
which  Burke  has  not  surpassed".1 

With  such  a  temperament  and  with  the  experience 
he  had  gained  before  the  Revolution,  Mallet  du  Pan 
may  be  said  to  have  approached  its  consideration  with 
an  open  mind,  though  moderation,  in  the  sense  of 
opportunism,  played  little  part  in  his  essentially  strong 
and  decided  character.  It  is  true  that  he  had  long 
formed  his  opinion  on  the  philosophic  ideas  which 
were  to  inspire  the  Revolution ;  that  he  had  been 
deeply  impressed  by  their  disastrous  effects  in  Geneva 
and  Holland  ;  and  that  arbitrary  and  violent  action 
of  every  kind  were  abhorrent  to  a  mind  which  instinc- 
tively clung  to  order,  morality  and  proportion  in  all 
social  relations.  It  is  easy  to  see,  therefore,  that  the 
bias  of  his  intellect  would  lead  him  to  distrust  the 
course  which  the  Revolution  would  take.  But  no 
one  who  has  followed  the  course  of  his  opinions  will 

1 1  may  refer  to  Madame  Colladon's  short  characterisation  of  her 
father's  style,  see  p.  331.  I  know  of  nothing  better. 


have  failed  to  observe  that  he  looked  on  the  objects 
and  opening  stages  of  the  Revolution  with  sympathy, 
and  that  it  was  no  conservative  or  aristocratic  pre- 
judice but   actual    experience   of  men   and    measures 
which    step    by    step    forced    him    into    pronounced 
opposition.      For  so  indeed  it  happened  as  the  pro- 
gress of  events  disappointed  the  hopes  and  justified 
the  fears  with  which  he  watched  the  opening  scenes ; 
until    the   growing   contrast    between    pompous    pro- 
fessions of  the  principles  of  liberty,  legality  and  philan- 
thropy, and  the  reality  of  oppression  and  intolerance ; 
between    extravagant    promises   of   regeneration   and 
the    disorganisation    and    distress    which    were    their 
only  fruit,  became  the  constant  theme  of  his  indignant 
censure.      But    what    called    forth    Mallet    du    Pan's 
fullest  talents  as  a  writer  was  the  crystallisation  of  the 
principles  of  the  Revolution  into  a  dogmatic  political 
system,  deduced  from  a  fictitious  social  contract,  and 
based  on  the  omnipotence  of  the  State,  on  the  sacrifice 
of  the  individual,  on  the  equalisation  of  fortunes  and 
conditions  and  on  the  proscription  of  revealed  religion. 
The  Jacobins,  said  Samuel  Taylor  Coleridge,  "  played 
the  whole  game  of  religion  and  moral  and  domestic 
happiness  into  the  hands  of  the  aristocrats,"  and  to 
describe  opposition  to  their  doctrines  as  reactionary  and 
aristocratic  is  merely  to  adopt  their  favourite  device 
for  ensuring  their  own  ascendency.     The  opposition 
of  Mallet  du  Pan  at  all  events  cannot  be  so  easily  dis- 
missed.    It  is  unnecessary  to  remind  the  reader  of  his 
opinion  of  the  ancien  regime,  or  of  the  blessings  which 
constitutional  freedom  were  capable  of  conferring  upon 
a  nation.     He  had  continually  in  his  mind,  as  his  writ- 
ings show,  the  condition,  the  welfare,  the  legitimate 


aspirations  of  the  body  of  the  people.  He  had  been 
bred  a  republican,  and  he  believed  in  representative 
though  not  necessarily  in  republican  government,  he 
had  given  much  attention  to  the  sufferings  of  the  poor 
in  France  and  in  Paris  before  the  Revolution,  and 
throughout  its  course  he  never  ceased  to  study  the 
temper  and  prejudices  of  the  mass  of  the  French 
population,  and  to  base  his  recommendations  to  the 
leaders  of  the  emigration  on  the  knowledge  derived 
from  this  study.  Even  in  his  appeals  to  the  national 
spirit  of  Europe  against  Jacobin  aggression  he  rested 
his  hopes,  as  his  son  remarks,  exclusively  on  the  people, 
and  he  shows  the  meanest  opinion  of  the  privileged 
classes  in  the  old  States  of  the  Continent.  Taine  indeed 
goes  so  far  as  to  say  of  Mallet  du  Pan  that  "  by  principle, 
reflection  and  disposition,  he  was  a  Liberal ".  Not, 
indeed,  in  the  sense  in  which  the  term  "  liberalism  "  is 
oftener  used  than  in  any  other,  namely,  to  signify  the 
mere  disposition  to  make  concession  to  popular  de- 
mands, but  in  a  sense  at  least  as  full  as  that  of  his  own 
fine  definition.  "  Liberalism,"  says  the  historian, 
"means  respect  for  others.  Each  person  should  be 
respected  by  the  State  and  by  his  neighbours ;  the 
individual,  like  the  community,  should  have  his  own 
domain,  bounded,  assured,  fixed  by  law  and  custom. 
Whoever  penetrates  into  the  inviolable  precinct  which 
encloses  his  person,  his  property,  his  conscience,  his 
beliefs,  his  opinions,  his  home,  his  private  life  and  his 
domestic  duties,  is  an  intruder  ;  if  the  State  exists  it  is 
to  prevent  intrusion  ;  if  it  itself  intrudes  it  becomes  the 
worst  of  offenders."  The  whole  conception  is  the  very 
antithesis  of  the  equalitarian  and  anti-Christian  social- 
ism of  the  revolutionary  movement,  his  opposition  to 


which  accordingly  drove  Mallet  du  Pan,  Republican 
and  Protestant  as  he  was,  into  ardent  championship  of 
a  Royal  house  and  a  Roman  clergy,  and  cost  him 
in  Paris  all  but  his  life  and,  with  his  expulsion  from 
Switzerland,  his  native  land.  It  was  in  the  spirit 
described  by  Taine  that  he  rejoiced  to  find  in  England 
a  refuge  which  delivered  him  at  least  from  the  'tourment 
du  silence' ' ;  'un port  ou  je  puis  accuser  sans  les  craindre 
des  tyrans  en  de"mence  /'  It  was  this  temper  which  he 
brought  to  the  great  work  of  his  life ;  the  ten  years' 
analysis  of  the  revolutionary  fever,  the  dissection  of  the 
spirit  of  Jacobinism,  which  to  this  day  retains  all  its 
truth,  its  far-seeing  sagacity,  its  moral  significance. 

Mallet's  "liberalism,"  to  use  a  term  with  too  many 
nineteenth  century  associations  to  be  altogether  satis- 
factory, was  shown  at  least  as  strongly  in  his  attitude 
towards  the  action  of  the  Royalist  party  (to  which  Taine 
makes  no  allusion),  as  in  his  opposition  to  the  Jacobins. 
The  part  he  played  in  the  councils  of  the  emigration 
is  the  most  important  feature  of  the  later  years  of  his 
life  and,  together  with  his  attitude  on  the  question  of 
the  war,  must  be  specially  noticed  in  any  account  of  his 
opinions.  On  the  latter  point  Mallet  du  Pan  has  been 
fiercely  attacked  by  the  revolutionary  writers.  He  is 
charged  with  having  counselled  and  fomented  the  war, 
and  his  position  as  an  adviser  "  in  the  pay  "  of  the  allied 
courts  has  laid  him  open  to  misrepresentation  of  a  kind 
which  earlier  chapters *  dealing  with  his  attitude  on  all 
the  phases  of  the  struggle  will  have  shown  to  be  not 
only  unfounded  but  dishonest.  It  would  be  far  more 
accurate  to  say  that  he  stood  almost  alone  in  denounc- 

1  See  especially  pp.  243-248. 


ing  the  disastrous  folly  of  the  war  as  carried  on  by 
the  allies,  than  to  picture  him  as  hounding  them  on 
to  destroy  the  principles  of  the  Revolution.  Very 
different  was  the  policy  of  the  author  of  the  phrase 
'Jamais  des  canons  ne  tuerent  des  sentiments'.  He 
was  never  tired  of  preaching  that  a  wise  conservatism 
would  appeal  to  the  passive  but  order-loving  masses 
of  the  French  people  by  offering  them,  as  Bonaparte 
finally  did,  a  practical  alternative  to  the  savage 
anarchy  of  Jacobin  rule  which  subsisted  only  on  the 
dread,  fostered  alike  by  revolutionary  and  counter- 
revolutionary bigots,  of  a  return  to  the  ancien 
regime.  But  he  early  realised  the  extraordinary 
nature  of  the  struggle  against  a  power  which  had 
solemnly  proclaimed  its  intention  to  overturn  existing 
constitutions  and  to  carry  the  principles  of  systematised 
anarchy  through  the  length  and  breadth  of  Europe. 
He  clearly  perceived  the  extent  of  the  danger  which 
threatened  the  allies,  owing  largely  to  their  own  selfish 
weakness  and  blind  violence  ;  and  he  anxiously  laboured 
to  bring  about  such  a  combination  of  public  spirit  and 
well-directed  effort  among  Continental  States  against 
the  French  Republic  as  that  which  was  afterwards  called 
into  being  by  Napoleon's  dream  of  universal  empire. 
It  would  be  useless  to  deny  that  as  the  character  of  the 
war  changed  in  the  sense  indicated,  and  as  Mallet 
was  forced  to  witness  the  destruction  of  the  smaller 
States  whose  liberty  and  independence  was  so  dear 
to  his  heart,  his  attitude  became  one  of  increasingly 
implacable  hostility  to  the  Revolution  and  all  its 
works.  Some  colour  is  therefore  given  to  the  ac- 
cusations which  have  been  brought  against  him.  It 
is  certain,  however,  that  such  criticism,  in  so  far  as 


it  did  not  come  from  avowed  partisans  of  revolutionary 
methods,  proceeded  largely  from  the  attitude  of  mind, 
a  mixture  of  lassitude  and  want  of  perception,  which 
characterised  some  of  Mallet's  constitutionalist  friends 
in  England  and  which  later  inspired  the  temporising  and 
ill-informed  policy  of  Grey  and  a  small  body  of  Parlia- 
mentary Whigs  during  the  life  and  death  struggle 
with  Napoleon.  Mallet  du  Pan  indeed  had  little 
more  toleration  than  Burke  for  the  "  moderation  which 
made  excuses  for  error  and  abjured  its  own  cause  in 
order  to  conciliate  opponents  ". 

A  more  serious  criticism  than  that  which  attacks 
Mallet  du  Pan's  moderation  on  the  question  of  the 
war  is  that  which  challenges  his  foresight.  Political 
foresight  is  a  higher  gift  than  the  guesswork  which  so 
often  goes  by  that  name.  Yet  a  just  appreciation  of  the 
possibilities  of  the  future  is  a  quality  to  which  posterity 
at  any  rate  attaches  great  importance,  and  Sainte-Beuve 
observed  that  Mallet  in  his  previsions  was  "as  rarely  as 
possible  in  such  a  mHee  wrong".  With  Burke,  with 
Morris,1  with  Catherine  of  Russia  ('  Oh,  Ctsar  viendra, 
rien  doutez pas'),  with  all  competent  observers,  he  early 
saw  that  the  Revolution  would  run  its  course  through 
anarchy  to  despotism  ;  it  would  not  be  difficult  to  show 
from  his  writings  that  he  foretold  every  form  which  it 
would  take,  including,  as  Sainte-Beuve  remarks,  the 
Monarchy  of  July  ;2  and  the  restoration  with  which  it 

1 '"'  An  American  nourished  in  the  bosom  of  liberty  cannot  but  be 
deeply  affected  to  see  that  in  almost  any  event  the  struggle  must 
terminate  in  despotism"  (Gouverneur  Morris,  August  1792). 

2  The  name  of  the  Due  d'Orleans,  afterwards  Louis  Philippe, 
recurs  several  times  in  Mallet's  Correspondence.  As  early  as  1796 
he  had  observed  the  excellent  qualities  of  the  young  prince  and  the 


closed  was  an  almost  literal  fulfilment  of  his  hopes  and 
predictions  for  France. 

The  biographer  of  Rivarol,  indeed,  while  placing 
Mallet  du  Pan  in  the  front  rank  of  political  philosophers, 
has  described  him  as  inferior  to  the  subject  of  his  memoir 
in  practical  sagacity,  in  the  prognostication  of  coming 
events.  Rivarol,  he  says,  saw  that  the  Revolution,  be- 
gun by  excess  of  liberty,  would  end  in  excess  of  tyranny. 
But  generalisations  of  this  kind,  and  advice  such  as 
that  Rivarol  gave  in  1792  to  Louis  XVI.,  '  sil  veut 
rdgner  il est  temps  quit  fasse  le  roi,'  are  not  practical 
politics.  Mallet's  writings  abound  in  similar  remarks 
given  in  even  more  vigorous  if  less  classical  language, 
but  he  did  not,  like  Rivarol,  confine  himself  to  making 
phrases  and  delighting  society  with  his  epigrams. 
Mallet  du  Pan  and  Joseph  de  Maistre,  again  observes 
M.  de  Lescure,  both  believed  that  the  Revolution 
would  end  in  a  restoration — a  restoration,  according  to 
the  Savoyard  prophet,  to  be  in  some  way  an  open 
manifestation  of  the  will  of  God;  according  "to  the 
Genevese  philosopher,  the  fruit  of  a  war  without  selfish 
ambition  or  too  crushing  defeats,  the  disinterested 
triumph  of  a  European  police  coinciding  with  a  re- 
action of  disillusion  and  repentance  of  a  whole  people  ". 

Both  Mallet  du   Pan  and    De   Maistre    were   un- 
doubtedly right,  as  the  event  proved,  in  the  belief  they 

number  of  his  partisans,  and  had  speculated  on  the  possibility  of  his 
proving  acceptable  to  the  mass  of  Frenchmen  alienated  by  the 
blunders  and  prejudices  of  the  elder  branch.  In  1800  he  writes  of 
the  immense  impression  made  by  the  Prince  in  London  on  English 
and  French  alike.  ' '  II  est  difficile  d'avoir  1'esprit  plus  juste,  plus  forme, 
plus  eclaire,  de  mieux  parler,  de  montrer  plus  de  sens,  de  connais- 
sances,  une  politesse  plus  attirante  et  plus  simple.  Oh,  celui-la  a  su 
mettre  a  profit  1'adversite*." 


are  thus  taunted  with  holding  ;  though  the  latter  words 
are  a  parody  of  the  views  of  one  who  as  early  as  1795 
prophesied,  as  Mallet  did,  that  the  monarchy  would 
only  reappear  on  the  wreck  of  a  military  dictatorship. 
M.  Descostes,  an  admirer  rather  than  a  critic  of  Mallet 
du  Pan,  points  to  a  passage  in  De  Maistre's  Con- 
sidtrations  sur  la  France,  in  which  that  writer  of 
genius  foreshadows  the  restoration  of  Louis  XVIII. 
as  a  providential  saviour  who,  once  on  the  throne, 
would  tear  up  his  old  programme  and  think  only  of 
pardon,  reconciliation  and  healing  ;  and  he  asks  how 
Mallet,  with  merely  human  powers  of  observation, 
could  have  been  expected  to  divine,  in  the  exile  of 
Verona,  the  King  of  the  Charter  of  1 8 1 4.  The  question 
embodies  a  criticism  not  uncommon  in  the  comparison 
of  the  two  writers,  and  one  which,  while  indicating  the 
distinction  between  them,  hardly  does  justice  to  Mallet 
du  Pan.  He,  indeed,  was  not  consoled  or  misled  by 
any  belief  in  the  divine  right  of  kings,  in  a  monarch 
who  was  to  execute  the  designs  of  God  for  the  punish- 
ment and  protection  of  France.  He  merely  strove 
with  the  pertinacity  which  belonged  to  him  for  the 
establishment  of  a  form  of  government  which  was  well 
within  the  region  of  possibility,  if  not  in  July  1789  at 
all  events  in  1795,  and  which  was  to  take  place  in  1814 
in  far  less  favourable  circumstances,  not  as  De  Maistre 
prophesied  "  without  effort  and  as  if  by  enchantment/' 
but  imposed  by  the  victorious  armies  of  Europe  upon 
an  exhausted  nation. 

The  whole  controversy,  however,  is  a  somewhat 
barren  one.  Keen  fighter  as  Mallet  was,  he  was 
often  premature  in  his  anticipations  thrown  out  in  the 
heat  of  the  conflict,  but  his  real  crime  in  the  eyes  of 


his  French  critics  is  that  he  refused  to  be  beguiled  by 
the  success  and  glory  of  the  French  arms  into  losing 
sight  of  the  principles  upon  which  free  and  settled 
government  could  alone  be  established  in  France. 
His  business,  as  he  conceived  it,  was  to  study  the  facts 
of  the  political  situation,  to  observe  events  and  tend- 
encies, and  to  form  his  opinion  and  give  his  advice 
accordingly.  It  was  not,  as  might  be  imagined  from 
the  tone  of  some  eulogies  and  criticisms,  to  sit  in  his 
armchair  and  make  prophecies.  His  reputation  must 
rest  on  the  general  truth  and  penetration  of  his  analysis, 
and  not  on  the  literal  exactness  or  the  reverse  of  some 
of  his  incidental  predictions.  He  made  no  claim  to  be 
considered  a  "political  philosopher,"  nor  did  he  often 
venture  on  dogmatic  prediction.  Even  on  the  question 
with  which  his  hopes  were  bound  up,  the  possibility 
of  the  application  of  the  principles  of  constitutional 
freedom  to  a  country  of  whose  people  he  said,  not  long 
before  his  death,  that  "liberty  was  ever  unintelligible 
to  them,"  he  wrote  with  the  diffidence  born  of  insight 
and  knowledge.  He  spoke  for  instance  of  the  "skill 
and  good  fortune  which  would  be  required  to  har- 
monise ancient  prejudices  with  modern,  interests  which 
preceded  with  those  which  had  followed  the  Revolu- 
tion ;  a  fragile  but  desirable  alliance  against  which  the 
memories  of  absolute  monarchy  on  the  one  hand,  and 
revolutionary  independence  on  the  other,  will  wage 
unending  war".  These  words  exactly  describe  the 
struggles  which  followed  the  establishment  of  constitu- 
tional Monarchy  in  France.  Their  author,  had  he  sur- 
vived, would  certainly  have  found  a  congenial  task  in 
supporting  the  genuine  attempt  to  reconcile  old  and  new, 
to  bridge  over  the  gulf  dug  between  classes  by  the 



Revolution,  which  was  made  during  that  most  brilliant 
period  of  Parliamentary  effort  and  oratory ;  he  would 
have  fought  side  by  side  with  de  Serre,  de  Villele,  de 
Montignac,  and  Royer-Collard.  But  it  may  be  doubted 
whether  he  would  have  felt  any  great  confidence  in  the 
success  of  the  experiment.  It  is  difficult  to  believe  that 
the  result  would  not  have  been  different  if  the  attempt 
could  have  been  made  before  prejudice  and  distrust  had 
taken  so  deep  a  root,  before  the  nation  had  become 
"gangrened  with  Revolution  and  with  Ca^sarism,"  if  the 
Royalism  of  1795  had  been  such  as  Mallet  had  coun- 
selled, if  the  Declaration  of  Verona  had  been  inspired 
by  the  spirit  of  the  Charter  of  1814,  if  Louis  XVIII. 
and  the  authorised  chiefs  of  the  Emigration  had  learnt 
their  lesson  twenty  years  sooner  than  they  did. 

Criticism  of  Mallet  du  Pan,  then,  to  be  effective 
must  involve  condemnation  of  his  whole  attitude  to- 
wards the  Revolution,  and  it  may  be  admitted  that  to 
appreciate  justly  the  point  of  view  of  an  opponent 
however  enlightened  of  the  revolutionary  movement 
is  not  altogether  easy  for  a  modern  writer.  He  lives 
in  a  world  transformed,  as  he  necessarily  feels  for 
good,  by  the  great  convulsion  of  a  century  ago,  a 
world  which  has  assimilated  something  that  was 
possible  out  of  an  impossible  programme,  and  which 
has  gained  equality  of  civil  and  political  rights  while 
rejecting  social  equality  ;  a  world  which,  while  it  has 
not  attained  the  revolutionary  ideal  described  by  Mallet 
du  Pan  as  "  unchangeable  perfection,  universal  brother- 
hood, ability  to  acquire  everything  that  is  wanting  to 
compose  man's  life  entirely  of  enjoyment  and  pos- 
session," has  implanted  an  aspiration  for  equal  social 
opportunity  which  must  have  tremendous  consequences 


for  the  future  of  European  civilisation.  Influenced  con- 
sciously or  unconsciously  by  some  such  perception  as 
this,  the  man  of  to-day  feels  that  those  who  persisted 
in  opposing  the  Revolution,  that  "  mighty  current  in 
human  affairs,"  were  rather  "perverse  and  obstinate" 
than  "  resolute  and  firm  ".  He  finds  it  less  difficult 
to  sympathise  with  the  humanity  of  a  Rousseau  or 
even  with  the  mysticism  of  a  De  Maistre  than  with 
the  reason  and  commonsense  of  Mallet  du  Pan,  in- 
spired though  he  was  with  the  fire  and  eloquence  of 
intense  conviction.  Yet  the  latter  is  really  much  more 
modern  in  his  practical  political  ideas,  in  his  modes  of 
thought  and  even  of  expression,  than  the  extremists  on 
either  side.  It  is  hardly  to  be  doubted  that  men  as 
sagacious  and  as  well  versed  in  history  and  politics 
as  Mallet  du  Pan  and  Malouet,  if  placed  in  similar 
circumstances  to-day,  would  act  as  they  did.  The  op- 
position, indeed,  of  enlightened  and  disinterested  men 
to  the  anti-liberal  and  anti-social  developments  of  the 
Revolution  was  perhaps  inevitably  unsuccessful,  but  it 
does  not  require  apology.  It  is  legitimate  to  regret  that 
the  teachings  of  Montesquieu  rather  than  the  dreams 
of  Rousseau  did  not  inspire  the  leaders  of  the  revolu- 
tionary movement  and  to  desire  that  the  advantages 
of  the  Revolution  should  have  been  gained  without  its 
violence  and  horrors ;  for  France  might  then  have  re- 
mained socially  and  politically  united  and  Europe  might 
have  profited  by  her  example  without  being  devastated 
of  her  arms.  Such  at  all  events  was  the  ideal  for  which 
Mallet  du  Pan  constantly  strove,  an  ideal  which  may  be 
expected  to  appeal  with  special  force  to  Englishmen  of 
whose  national  character  and  institutions  he  was  the  life- 
long student  and  admirer.  For  the  England  from  which 


he  drew  his  inspiration  knew  how  to  reconcile  constant 
progress  in  popular  methods  of  government  with  the 
maintenance  of  constitutional  forms  and  the  authority 
which  [goes  with  them  ;  and  the  words  in  which  Burke 
summed  up  the  political  genius  of  his  countrymen— 
"the  only  liberty  I  mean  is  the  liberty  connected  with 
order  "  —give  the  keynote  of  the  opinions  of  Mallet  du 
Pan  and  find  an  echo  in  every  page  of  his  writings. 



[Part  of  an  article  in  the  Mercure  Britannique 
(No.  13,  2ist  February  1799),  entitled  "  Du  degre" 
d'influence  qu'a  eu  la  philosophic  FranQaise  sur  la 
Revolution  ".] 

Parmi  les  questions  oiseuses  qui  occupant  les  cercles,  on  a 
souvent  agite  celle  de  savoir  lequel  de  ces  deux  ecrivains  avait  le 
plus  contribue  a  depraver  la  raison  des  Fran9ais,  et  a  les  diriger 
vers  la  Revolution. 

Un  de  mes  plus  respectables  compatriotes,  dont  1'autorite 
deciderait  seule  mon  opinion,  M.  De  Luc,  n'hesite  pas  a  prononcer 
centre  Rousseau:  depuis  longtemps  je  partage  ce  sentiment. 

Sans  me  permettre  un  episode  pour  le  justifier,  j'observerai 
que  Voltaire,  plus  goguenard  que  raisonneur,  plus  satirique  que 
vehement,  repoussait  par  son  cynisme,  et  refroidissait  par  son 
rabachage.  Parlant  a  1'esprit  plus  qu'au  sentiment  et  a  1'imagi- 
nation,  trop  superficiel  pour  les  hommes  instruits,  trop  scandaleux 
pour  les  hommes  un  peu  scrupuleux,  toujours  prohibe,  vendu 
clandestinement,  et  peu  lu  des  classes  intermediates  et  popu- 
laires,  il  vit  son  influence  circonscrite  dans  ce  qu'on  nommait  la 
bonne  compagnie,  and  dans  quelques  corps  litteraires.  II  avait 
compte  sur  1'empire  du  ridicule  et  de  1'esprit  pour  conquerir 
la  vanite,  les  pretentions,  et  1'immoralite.  Ses  enthousiastes 
etaient  un  Comte  d'Argental,  un  Thibouville,  un  Vilette,  un 
d'Argence ;  il  n'y  a  pas  jusqu'a  Madame  Dubarri  dont  il  n'eut 
ambitionne  et  espere  la  conversion.  II  attachait  peu  d'impor- 
tance  aux  suffrages  plebeiens,  et  ne  se  flatta  jamais  d'obtenir 
celui  des  hommes  de  moaurs  sages  et  severes.  Dans  le  nombre 
des  incredules  qu'il  a  formes,  on  pourrait  compter  presque  autant 
de  personnes  corrompues,  ou  d'une  reputation  morale  entachee. 


Rousseau,  au  contraire,  a  egare  1'honnetete  meme  :  jusqu'a  ses 
doutes  persuadaient  ses  lecteurs  de  sa  sincerity ;  en  ecrivant  avec 
gravite,  il  fixait  1'attention ;  en  6crivant  avec  eloquence,  il  entrai- 
nait  la  raison  et  la  sensibilite.  II  a  eu  cent  fois  plus  de  lecteurs 
que  Voltaire  dans  les  conditions  mitoyennes  et  inferieures  de 
la  societ6.  Enfin,  Rousseau  a  imprime  la  secousse  decisive  a 
1'opinion,  par  ses  principes  de  droit  politique.  Son  independance 
ombrageuse,  la  misere  et  le  vagabondage  dans  lesquels  il  avait 
passe  sa  jeunesse,  son  aversion  pour  toute  espece  de  superiorite 
civile,  dicterent  toutes  ses  theories.  II  a  ressuscite  des  Levellers 
et  des  Anabaptistes  le  dogme  de  I'egalit6 ;  sa  haine  pour  la  dis- 
tinction des  rangs  perce  dans  chacun  de  ses  ouvrages.  Personne 
n'a  plus  ouvertement  attaque  le  droit  de  propriete  en  le  declarant 
une  usurpation.  II  detestait  la  Monarchic ;  il  voyait  la  tyrannic 
jusques  dans  les  Republiques  constitutes  sur  des  balances  de 
pouvoir;  il  s'est  elev6  centre  les  Gouvernemens  mixtes,  avec 
autant  d'aigreur  qu'il  attaquait  les  Gouvernemens  absolus.  C'est 
lui  seul  qui  a  inocule  chez  les  Fran9ais  la  doctrine  de  la  souve- 
rainete  du  Peuple,  et  de  ses  consequences  les  plus  extremes.  J'ai 
entendu,  en  1788,  Marat  lire  et  commenter  le  Contrat  social  dans 
les  promenades  publiques,  aux  applaudissements  d'un  auditoire 
enthousiaste.  J'aurais  peine  a  citer  un  seul  Revolutionnaire  quijne 
fut  transporte  de  ces  theoremes  anarchiques,  et  qui  ne  brulat  du 
desir  de  les  realiser.  Ce  Contrat  social  qui  dissout  la  societe,  fut 
le  Coran  des  discoureurs  appretes  de  1789,  des  Jacobins  de  1790, 
des  Republicans  de  1791  et  des  forcenes  les  plus  atroces.  Les 
dissertations  de  Babeuf  sont  autant  d'analyses  de  Rousseau  et 
d'applications  de  sa  doctrine.  Le  seul  publiciste  d'une  grande  et 
legitime  renommee  que  posseda  la  France,  Montesquieu  fut  eclipse 
par  1'etoile  de  Rousseau,  dont  les  disciples  discrediterent  I'Esprit 
des  Lois,  pour  faire  triompher  les  funestes  billevesees  du  Contrat 

Par  une  singularite  frappante,  il  est  done  arrive  que  le  plus 
iso!6  des  ecrivains,  qu'un  malheureux  Stranger  dans  la  retraite, 
sans  partis,  sans  connexions  de  son  vivant,  ayant  pour  ennemis 
la  pluralite  des  Philosophes  de  Paris,  est  devenu  le  prophete  de  la 
France  Revolutionnaire ;  cette  remarque  le  disculpe  du  moins 
d'avoir  conjure  avec  personne  le  bouleversement  dont  1'Europe  est 
la  victime,  et  de  1'avoir  prepar6  intentionnellement. 


Voltaire,  au  contraire,  pr6medita,  poursuivit,  et  gouverna  avec 
methode,  le  projet  de  subvertir  le  Christianisme.  II  forma  dans 
les  lettres  cet  esprit  de  secte  et  d'enrolement,  qui  rendit  les 
philosophes  puissance  organisee,  qui  leur  rallia  la  jeunesse,  et  qui 
concourut  a  enfanter  les  rassemblemens,  convertis,  depuis,  en 
arsenaux  revolutionnaires. 

Mais,  nous  le  repetons ;  nul  concert  anterieur  de  doctrine  ou 
de  mesures,  nulle  intelligence  commune,  nul  vceu  uniforme  dans 
la  generalite  des  gens  de  lettres  fle'tris  du  sobriquet  de  philosophe, 
ne  prece"derent  ce  monstrueux  assemblage  d'evenements  imprevus 
et  au-dessus  de  toute  prevoyance,  qui  ont  plonge  la  France  dans 
la  barbarie. 

Mably,  dont  les  declamations  republicaines  ont  enivre  beaucoup 
de  modernes  democrates,  Mably  frondeur  brutal  et  excessif,  6tait 
religieux  jusqu'a  1'austerite ;  au  premier  coup  de  tocsin  contre 
l'6glise  Romaine,  il  cut  jete  ses  livres  au  feu,  excepte  ses  san- 
glantes  apostrophes  a  Voltaire  et  aux  Athees. 

Marmontel,  Saint-Lambert,  Morellet,  encyclopedistes,  ont  ete 
les  adversaires  de  la  Revolution.  L'Abbe  Raynal  accourut  de 
Marseille,  exposant  son  repos  et  sa  vie,  pour  en  montrer  la  turpitude 
et  le  delire  a  ses  fondateurs  tout-puissants.  Tel  qui,  six  mois 
auparavant,  citait  avec  transport  une  de  ses  tirades  aux  bandits 
du  Palais  Royal,  opina  a  le  suspendre  a  la  lanterne. 

Diderot  et  Condorcet,  voila  les  veritables  Chefs  de  1'ecole 
revolutionnaire.  Le  premier  avait  saisi  dans  toute  sa  plenitude 
le  systeme  d'enormites  qui  a  fait  le  destin  de  la  France :  Diderot 
cut  proclame  1'egalite  avant  Marat,  les  droits  de  1'homme  avant 
Sieyes,  la  sainte  insurrection  avant  Mirabeau  et  La  Fayette,  le 
massacre  des  Pretres  avant  les  Septembristes.  II  fut  1'auteur  de 
la  plupart  de  ces  diatribes  incendiaires,  intercallees  dans  I'Histoire 
Philosophique  des  deux  Indes,  qui  deshonorent  cet  ouvrage,  et 
que  Raynal,  sur  la  fin  de  ses  jours,  avait  proscrit  avec  horreur 
d'une  nouvelle  edition  qu'il  preparait.1  Qui  a  entendu  Diderot 

1Ces  morceaux  postiches  sont  faciles  a  distinguer  par  le  style, 
et  par  leur  virulence.  J'en  ai  vu  I'e'tat  et  le  prix  entre  les  mains 
de  M.  D.,  ancien  Receveur  des  Finances,  qui  conclut  le  marche 
entre  Raynal  et  Diderot.  Ce  dernier  recut  de  son  confrere  10  mille 
livres  tournois  pour  ces  amplifications  convulsives,  qui  sont  une 
preface  du  code  reVolutionnaire. 


converser  sur  les  Gouvernements,  sur  la  Religion  et  sur  l'6glise, 
n'a  rien  eu  a  apprendre  de  la  Revolution.  Lorsque  les  economistes 
vinrent  a  leur  tour  gouverner  1'Etat  avec  leurs  logogriphes,  leur 
impot  unique,  leur  despotisme  legal,  etc.,  Diderot,  se  moquant  de 
leurs  reformes,  les  comparait  a  des  mddecins  qui  travaillaient  sur 
un  cadavre.  Ce  cadavre  etait  la  Monarchic  Frangaise. 

Tous  les  lettres  frenetiques  qui,  la  plume  a  la  main,  ont  depuis 
1788  pousse  le  char  sanglant  de  1'anarchie  et  de  1'atheisme,  Cham- 
fort,  Grouvelle,  Garat,  Cerutti,  et  cent  autres  plus  obscurs,  furent 
engendres  par  Diderot,  perfectionnes  par  Condorcet.  Us  decrierent 
et  diffamerent  les  savants  plus  moderes  qui,  epris  des  nouveautes 
avant  1789,  reculerent  d'effroi  devant  les  premiers  crimes  des 
Novateurs.  C'est  done  une  meprise  d'attribuer  a  1'universalite 
des  Philosophes,  1'universalite  des  complots,  des  maximes  et  des 
forfaits  qui  ont  envahi  la  France  depuis  dix  ans. 

Mais  le  reproche  dont  on  ne  saurait  les  laver,  c'est  d'avoir 
accelere  la  degeneration  et  la  depravation  Fran9aises,  en  affaiblis- 
sant  les  appuis  de  la  morale,  en  rendant  la  conscience  raisonneuse, 
en  substituant  a  des  devoirs  observes  par  sentiment,  par  tradition, 
et  par  habitude,  les  regies  incertaines  de  la  raison  humaine  et  des 
sophismes  a  1'usage  des  passions ;  c'est  d'avoir  rendu  proble- 
matiques  toutes  les  verites,et  introduitce  scepticisme  presomptueux, 
qui  conduit  a  de  pires  egarements  que  1'ignorance ;  c'est  d'avoir 
ebranle  tout  ce  que  le  temps,  1'experience,  et  la  saine  philosophic 
avaient  consacre,  et  prepare  ainsi  1'anarchie  publique  par  1'anarchie 
de  1'esprit. 

Leur  legerete  y  concourut  avec  leur  amour-propre.  Spinosa, 
Hobbes,  Vanini,  Bayle,  Collins,  ensevelis  dans  1'etude  et  meta- 
physiciens  abstraits,  ne  cherchaient  a  etre  lus  et  n'etaient  lus  que 
des  savants.  Quelque  dangereuses  que  fussent  leurs  opinions,  elles 
ne  s'echappaient  point  au-dela  d'un  cercle  tres  limite.  Mais  les 
dogmatiseurs  Parisiens  precherent  au  public,  dispenserent  leurs 
lecteurs  des  connaissances,  les  seduisirent  par  les  agrements  de 
1'elocution.  Repandus  dans  la  societe,  ils  la  penetrerent  de  leur 
doctrine ;  renoncerent  aux  gros  livres  qu'on  ne  lit  point,  et  demon- 
trerent  1'atheisme  dans  des  romans,  1'imposture  de  la  revolution 
dans  des  quolibets,  la  vanite  de  la  morale  dans  des  historiettes,  et 
1'art  social  dans  des  proverbes.  Avec  des  abstractions,  des  preuves, 
et  des  recherches,  ils  eussent  ennuye  le  beau  monde ;  ils  le  con- 


quirent  en  lui  apprenant  qu'on  pouvait  douter  de  tout  sans  rien 
savoir,  et  savoir  tout  sans  rien  etudier. 

Comme  depuis  trente  ans,  aux  pr6tentions  de  la  naissance, 
de  la  fortune  et  du  credit,  il  etait  devenu  indispensable  a  Paris 
d'ajouter  celle  d'homme  d'esprit,  pour  en  obtenir  le  titre  on  en 
caressait  les  distributeurs.  De  peur  de  passer  pour  un  sot,  on 
prit  la  livree  de  la  liberte  et  de  Pincredulite.  Un  courtisan,  un 
colonel,  un  conseiller,  ou  une  comedienne,  honores  une  fois  d'un 
brevet  de  philosophic  dans  quelque  lettre  privee  de  d'Alembert  et 
de  Voltaire,  ou  dans  le  Journal  de  Paris,  se  jugeaient  immortels. 

C'est  ainsi  que  Paris  se  couvrit  de  Philosophes.  Depuis  le 
marmouset  imberbe  qui  begayait  des  blasphemes  dans  les  bureaux 
d'esprit,  jusqu'au  Marquis  de  Vilette  et  au  portier  des  academies, 
la  Confrerie  s'aggregea  toutes  les  especes.  Jamais  un  delire  plus 
impertinent  ne  deshonora  une  nation.  II  y  avait  loin  de  cette 
prostitution  Parisienne  aux  ecoles  de  Pythagore  et  du  Portique. 
Qu'auraient  dit  Platon,  £pictete,  Aristote,  Montaigne,  Leibnitz, 
Newton,  et  Locke,  de  cette  mascarade  introduite  dans  le  sanctu- 
aire  de  la  science  et  de  la  raison  ? 

La  frivolite  de  Paris  fut  done  le  puissant  auxiliaire  de  la 
frivolite  philosophique.  Dans  nul  autre  pays,  les  ecrits  les  plus 
audacieux  n'eussent  entraine  une  credulite  si  generate  et  si 
enthousiaste :  dans  nul  autre  pays,  une  secte  effrenee  n'eut  ete 
aussi  favorisee  par  1'irreflexion  et  1'exaltation  naturelles  des 

En  general,  lorsque  dans  les  Gouvernements  absolus  1'opinion 
a  relache  ses  chalnes,  elle  ne  tarde  pas  a  les  briser,  et  parcourt  les 
extremes  en  un  clin  d'ceil ;  par  la  meme  cause  qui  multiplie  les 
athees  dans  les  con  trees  livrees  aux  superstitions. 

Qu'une  Convention  Nationale  eut  ete  erigee  a  Londres, 
a  Madrid,  ou  a  Vienne,  dans  des  circonstances  analogues  a 
celle  ou  se  trouvait  la  France  en  1789,  aurait-elle  offert  ce 
spectacle  de  fous  echappes  des  Petites-maisons,  proclamant 
leurs  lumieres  comme  la  loi  du  genre  humain,  et  d'une  magni- 
fique  hierarchic  sociale,  se  reportant  subitement  aux  elements  de 
Petat  sauvage  ?  Ici  se  retrouve  le  genie  immodere,  impetueux  et 
confiant  de  la  nation,  imprimant  a  la  R6volution  le  caractere  le 
plus  excessif.  Les  Fran?ais  s'etaient  assembles  pour  regler  ou 
pour  limiter  la  Monarchic ;  ils  en  ont  fait  une  Democratic  royale, 


ensuite  une  Republique  anarchique.  Trop  de  fonctions  exclusives 
6taient  1'appanage  de  la  Noblesse :  ils  ont  reserve  les  emplois  a 
des  savetiers,  des  copistes,  des  clercs  de  procureurs,  des  avocats 
de  province,  des  moines  defroques,  des  marchands,  des  juges  de 
paroisse,  des  faiseurs  de  romans,  des  compilateurs  de  gazettes. 
Quelques  privileges  de  cette  meme  Noblesse  etaient  abusifs ;  ils 
1'ont  degradee  et  depouillee  de  ses  propri6tes :  ils  se  plaignaient 
des  richesses  du  Clerge,  et  n'ont  souffert  aucun  milieu  entre  son 
opulence  et  sa  ruine,  entre  son  eclat  et  sa  proscription.  Des 
prejuges  excommuniaient  les  comediens ;  ils  en  ont  fait  des  legis- 
lateurs.  Les  Philosophes  avaient  reclame  la  tolerance  religieuse  ; 
leurs  commentateurs  ont  renverse  toutes  les  religions.  On  ferait 
un  volume  de  ce  parallele.  J'ose  le  terminer  par  une  prediction  ; 
c'est  que  la  meme  fougue  ramenera  un  jour  les  FranQais,  s'ils 
redeviennent  maitres  de  leur  sort,  a  1'exaggeration  la  plus  opposee. 
Mais  le  caractere  le  plus  special  que  la  perversite  philosophique 
ait  communique  a  la  Revolution  est  celui-ci.  Presque  tous  les 
siecles  avaient  vu  de  grands  crimes,  mais  nul  encore  la  theorie 
des  crimes  publics  et  prives,  edge's  en  systeme  d'Etat  et  en  droit 
public  universel,  par  des  Ltgislateurs  parlant  au  nom  de  la  raison  et 
de  la  nature.  Ce  nouveau  genre  d'hypocrisie  ou  de  fanatisme  etait 
encore  inconnu.  II  fallait  1'alliance  des  doctrines  du  temps  avec  les 
moeurs  de  ses  professeurs,  pour  produire  ce  tableau  d'un  Peuple 
regenere  par  I'ath6isme,  par  1'assassinat,  par  1'incendie,  le  brigan- 
dage, et  le  sacrilege ;  ce  tableau  d'un  Peuple  dont  les  Re'presentans 
et  les  Chefs  successifs  ne  commettent  point  le  crime  dans  la  fureur, 
mais  le  discutent  didactiquement,  le  motivent,  le  deliberent,  en  etu- 
dient  les  moyens  avec  recherche,  le  preconisent  avec  eloquence, 
s'applaudissent  a  Papproche  de  ses  succes,  le  prononcent  avec 
solennite,  1'executent  de  sang-froid,  et  repondent  par  des  eclats 
de  rire  aux  lamentations  de  leurs  victimes. 


Addington,  326. 

Administrative  Chaos  under  Directory, 

230-1,  310. 

Admiration  for  England,  67,  287,  290-1. 
Agricultural  Population  of  France,  227. 
American  Colonies,  30,  34,  50. 
Anglomania  in  France,  73. 
Annalcs  Politiques,  etc.,  17-20. 
Archduke  Charles,  The,  163,  169,  249, 


Aristocracy,  Genevese,  4,  10,  n. 
Assignats,  112,  231-6. 
Aubonne,  12. 
Augereau,  263. 

Babceuf,  229. 

Balance  of  Power,  31. 

Bale,  Peace  of,  192-3. 

Barnave,  103,  125  (note). 

Barras,  190,  201,  224,  262,  311. 

Barthelemy,  208,  260-1  (note). 

Bastille,  10,  100. 

Bel-Homme,  Prison,  275. 

Berlin  Correspondence,  186. 

Berne,  172,  203-4,  2^8.  Diplomatic 
centre,  207-11.  Family  life  and 
society  at,  205-7. 

Bonaparte  Napoleon,  27,  no,  179,  201, 
256  (and  note),  258, 262  (note),  263-7, 
269  (note),  278-9,  314-9,  333,  349. 

Bonstetten,  269,  279. 

Bourgeoisie,  Lettre  de,  2. 

Breteuil,  Baron  de,  135,  150,  163. 

Brissot,  55,  72,  85,  122,  133,  163. 

British  Constitution,  eulogised,  86,  87, 
88,  116.  Prejudice  against  in  France, 

Brumaire  i8th,  1799  (Nov.  10),  Bona- 
parte's Coup  d'Etat,  315,  319. 

Brunswick,  Duke  of,  149,  150,  220-1, 
270,  283.  Failure  of  his  Campaign, 
154  (and  note). 

Brunswick   Manifesto,   The,  150,   152, 

153  (note),  239. 
Brussels  in  1793,  162-3. 
Burke,  Edmund,  39,  48, 126,  130  (note), 

184,   231,  241,  242,   244,  285  (note), 

286,  345,  350,  356. 


Calonne,  79,  150,  301  (note). 

Calvin,  2,  5.     His  Consistory,  7. 

Camden,  Lord,  48. 

Camp.o  Formio,  Treaty  of,  270. 

Canning,  286  (note),  294. 

Carletti,  Comte,  194  (note). 

Carlyle,    Thomas.      His    letter    about 

Mallet  du   Pan,   335,   342. 
Carnot,  184,  224. 
Cassel,  12. 
Castries,    Marshal   de,   147,    162,    198, 

205,  219,  220,  249,  257,  308. 
Catherine  II.,  143,  171,  177,  178,  350. 
Cavendish,  Lord  John,  48. 
Cazales,  103,  109. 
Celigny,  5. 

Censorship,  64,  65,  74.     Abolished,  86. 
Chateaubriand,  91,  301  (note). 
Chatham's  Policy,  36. 
Charter  of  1814,  352,  354. 
Chesterfield,  Lord,  20. 
Citizenship  of  Geneva,  2,  6,  341. 
Clapham,  Mr.  J.  H.,  151  (note). 
Claviere,  9. 

Clergy,  French,  116,  117. 
Clermont-Tonnerre,  Comte  de,  102. 
Cobden,  31. 

Coblentz,  130,  142,  147,  160. 
Coburg,  Prince  of,  162,  170.     Failure  of 

his  Campaign,  170-1. 
Coleridge,  S.  T.,  346. 
Colladon,  Madame,  121,  329-30. 
Colleredo,  172,  241. 
Collot  d'Herbois,  179. 
Comite  des  Recherches,  117,  120. 
Commercial  Monopoly,  32,  33. 
—  Treaty  with  France,  68. 



Committee  of  Public  Safety,  176-9. 
Condorcet,  23,  26,  127,  359  (Appendix). 
Considerations,  The,  164-9.     Effect  of, 

and  fury   of  emigres,   168-9.     Pitt's 

opinion  of,  164.    Burke's  opinion  of, 


Constitution  of  1791,  125-6,  igi,  224. 
—  of  1795,  224-5,  229,  259. 
Constitutional    Monarchy,  chance  for, 

in  1795,  igi,  201,  202.    Establishment 

of,  in  1814,  351-2,  353-4. 
Constitutional  Reform,  1789,92-3.  Party 

of,  94-5. 

Consulate,  The,  317-8. 
Convention,    The,     176.     Finance    of, 


Conway,  48. 
Correspondance   Politique   pour   servir, 

etc.,  Pamphlet,  250-3. 
Crimes  of  the  Revolution,  106,  118-9. 


D'Alembert,  23,  26,  361  (Appendix). 
Danton,    no,  in,  127,  134,  142,  155, 

D'Artois,    Comte,    91,    174,    196,    199, 

219  (note),  282,  285,  303,  308-9. 
Dauphin  (Louis  XVII.),  death  of  the, 

Debates  of  Assembly,  Mallet's  Reports, 

go-i,  118. 
De  la  Rive,  301. 
De  Lisle,  Abbe,  273,  305   (and  note), 


Delolme's  British  Constitution,  86. 
D'Entraigues,  173  (note),  198. 
Depopulation  of  France,  236-7. 
D'Erlach,  Baron,  159,  160,  268  (note). 
Descostes,  M.  Francis,  186  (note),  209, 


Desmoulins,  Camille,  122,  337. 
D'Henin,  Princesse,  215,  255,  269. 
D'Holbach's  Systeme  de  la  Nature,  24, 


Diderot,  26,  62,  359  (Appendix). 
Diplomatic  Reports  by  Mallet  du  Pan, 

162,  172,  175,  185-7. 
Directors,  The,  described,  223,  254. 
D'lvernois,  Sir  Francis,  9. 
Domiciliary  visits,  115,  120. 
D'OrlSans,  Due  (Egalite),  death  of,  181 

(Louis  Philippe),  350-1  (note). 

Doutes  sur  I 'eloquence,  14. 

Du  Barry,  Chevalier,  execution  of,  181 


Dumolard,  267. 
Dumont,  9,  2gg,  301. 

Du  Pan,  Mdlle.  (mother  of  Mallet  du 
Pan),  4. 

—  Etienne  and  family,  4  (note). 

—  Syndic,  4. 
Duport,  103,  124,  137. 


Economistes,  17,  33,  68. 

Elgin,     Lord,     British      Minister     at 

Brussels,  163,  i6g,  172,  175. 
Emigration,  The,  go,   130-2,  146,  242, 


Emigres  in  London,  255,  2g2,  301,  304. 
England  and  France,  33-40. 

—  in  1781,  ag.     In  1797,  287. 
English  manners,  294. 

—  Party  System,  43,  44,  45,  47,  50, 

Esprit  des  Lois,  7,  14. 


Faction  in   England,  29  (note).     (See 

English  Party  System.) 
Ferney,  8,  16. 
Fersen,  Comte  de,  150. 
Fitzgerald,  Lord  Robert,  210,  212. 
FitzPatrick,  Mr.  Walter,  and  Dropmore 

Papers,  199  (note). 

Fourbonnais,  de,  Traite  de  Finances,  68. 
Fox,  C.  J.,  48,  67,  175. 
France  and  England,  33-40. 
Frankfort,  Mission  of  Mallet  du  Pan  to, 

145-155,  247.    Coronation  of  Francis 

II.  at,  148. 
Franklin,  265  (note). 
Fraternisation,  Decree  of,  170,  239-240. 
Fraubriinnen,  Battle  of,  279. 
Frederick  the  Great,  66,  265. 
French    Revolution,    influence    of,    on 

England,  39. 
Friburg,  272. 
Fructidor,  I7g5,   Decrees  of,  189,  200. 

1 8th   1797,   Directorial  Coup  d'fitat, 



Gallatin,  207,  221,  288. 

Geneva,  in  eighteenth  century,  6-8. 
Constitution  of,  3,  10.  College  of,  5. 
Revolutionary  troubles  in,  9,  10, 
52-5.  Revolution  of  1794,  and  Pro- 
scription of  Mallet  du  Pan,  273.  An- 
nexation of,  to  France,  1798,  Mallet 
excluded  from  French  citizenship, 

Genevese,  Character  of,  6,  52,  341. 



Gentz,  91,  118  (note),  241,  333  (note), 

338,  342,  345- 
George  III.,  42,  210,  211. 
Georgel,  Abbe,  273. 
Gibraltar,  Defence  of,  36. 
Girondists,  133,  239. 
Gladstone,  Mr.,  302  (note). 
Grave,  Chevalier  de,  292. 
Great   Britain,   29,  35,   36,   67.      War 

Policy,   213,   284.     As   an   ally,  129 

(note),  285.    Public  Spirit  of  (1798), 

287-9  (Letter  to  Gallatin). 
Grenville,  Lord,  172,  175,  210,  294,  325. 
Grey,  Lord,  and  Whigs  in  Napoleonic 

War,  350. 
Grimm,  73. 
Grotius,  65  (note). 
Gustavus  III.,  143. 


Haller,  Ch.,  268,  300. 
Hardenberg,  Baron,  186. 
Hastings,  Warren,  69-72. 
Hoche,  General,  262. 
Holderness,  Lady,  321. 
Holland,  33,  41,  75. 

Huguenot   and    Calvinist   ancestry   of 
Mallet  du  Pan,  2,  341. 


Incendiary   teachings  in    Geneva   and 

Holland,  43. 
Indian  Empire  of  Great  Britain,  37. 


Jacobins,  The,  163,  177,  346,  348. 

Jeunesse  doree,  198. 

Joseph  II.,  16,  20. 

Journal  de  Bruxelles,  15,  58. 
—  de  Geneve,  58,  59. 
—  Politique.     See  Mercure  de  France, 

Journalism,  French,  in  eighteenth  cen- 
tury, 56,  57 ;  in  Paris,  78,  85,  189, 
259 ;  Mallet  du  Pan's  ideal  of,  18, 
19,  89,  105  (note). 

Kaunitz,  135. 



Lafayette,  126,  210. 
La  Harpe,  15,  16,  59. 
Lally-Tollendal,  Comte  de, 
102,  214-5,  324,  325,  329. 

92,  94, 

La  Marck,  Comte  de,  112,  114. 
Lameth,  Charles  de,  103,  220. 

—  Alexandre  de,  125. 

—  Theodore  de,  208,  210. 
Langres,  Bishop,  Duke  of,  92,  93,  94. 
Lansdowne,  Lord,  175.     (See  also  Shel- 

La  Pucelle,  8. 

La  Reveillere-Lepaux,  223  (and  note). 
Lausanne,  8,  18,  159. 
Legislative  Assembly,  124. 
Leopold  II.,  128,  133,  143. 
Lescure,  M.  de,  351. 
Les  Delices,  8. 
Le  Tourneur,  224. 
Lettre  a  un  Ministre  d'Etat,  Pamphlet, 


Liberalism,  Taine's  definition  of,  348. 
Lille,   Lord  Malmesbury's  mission  to, 

286  (and  note). 

Linguet,  14,  15,  16,  17,  55,  276-7. 
Liverpool,  Lord,  281,  292-3. 
Loquacity  in  America,  44. 
Louis  XVI.,  34,  79,  81,  94,  104,  126-7, 

134-8, 145, 147, 151, 161, 340.  Mallet's 

loyalty  to,  127,  138, 174.     Autograph 

note  from,  148-9  (note). 
Louis  XVII.     See  Dauphin. 

—  XVIII.,  194-5,  197-8,  3°9,  34°- 
Lyons,  226. 


Macpherson,  Sir  John,  163,  292,  326. 
Maison  Mallet,  2. 

Maistre,  Joseph  de,  161,  250,  351,  355. 
Mallet,  fitienne,  4. 

—  Henri,  330. 

—  Jacques  (i),  2. 

—  Jean,  i. 

—  John    Lewis.      Preface,    and    see 

Mallet  du  Pan,  Jacques,  1749-1800. 
Ancestors,  1,3.  Birth,  5.  Champion- 
ship of  the  Natifs,  10.  Acquaintance 
with  Voltaire,  12.  Professorship  at 
Cassel,  12.  Marriage,  13.  Doutes  sur 
I 'eloquence,  14.  Assists  Linguet  with 
Annales  Politiques,  17.  Ideal  as 
Journalist,  18.  Religious  opinions, 
22  (note).  Carries  on  Annales  alone, 
20-51.  Action  in  Genevese  Revolu- 
tion, 53.  Memoires  historiques,  55. 
Offered  Editorship  of  Mercure  de 
France  (Journal  politlque) :  Life  in 
Paris,  61.  Comments  on  English 
affairs,  and  Warren  Hastings'  trial, 
67-72.  Private  Notebook,  77.  His 
political  education  before  1789 



(Taine),  84.  Reorganises  Mercure, 
89.  His  analysis  of  Debates,  90. 
Champions  Constitutional  Royalist 
Party,  92.  Love  of  music,  101. 
Threatened,  102.  Friendship  with 
Malouet,  visits  Geneva,  107.  Opinion 
of  Necker,  109;  of  Mirabeau,  no. 
Domiciliary  visit,  115.  Defends 
Clergy,  116.  Deprecates  outrages, 
118.  Second  attack  and  suspension 
of  work,  120.  Resumes  Editorship, 
123.  Deputation  of  emigres  ;  adviser 
to  Louis  XVI.  on  question  of  War, 
135.  Combats  War,  138.  Fresh 
attacks,  143.  Abandons  Mercure, 
145.  Mission  from  King,  ibid.  ;  goes 
to  Frankfort,  146.  Presentation  to 
Sovereigns,  149.  Conferences  with 
Ministers,  ibid.  His  instructions, 
151.  At  Geneva  and  Lausanne,  159. 
Goes  to  Brussels,  162.  Relations 
with  Foreign  Ministers,  163.  Siege 
of  Valenciennes,  ibid.  Publication 
of  Considerations  on  the  Revolution, 
164.  Fury  of  emigres,  169.  Settles 
at  Berne,  172.  Notes  to  Elgin  and 
Grenville,  ibid.  Further  notes,  175. 
Vienna  Correspondence,  186.  Cor- 
respondence for  Berlin  and  Lisbon, 
1 86.  Mission  of  Sainte-Aldegonde  to 
Mallet,  195.  His  reply  to  the  Princes, 
ibid.  Attacked  by  ultra-Royalists, 
198.  Condemned  to  death  at  Geneva, 
203.  Pecuniary  resources,  205.  Oc- 
cupations and  society  at  Berne,  207. 
De  Lameth  intrigue,  210.  Mallet's 
correspondents,  213.  Description  of 
France  under  Directory,  223.  Criti- 
cism of  Foreign  Policy  of  Allies,  242  ; 
of  the  emigres,  243.  Advocates 
Constitutional  Monarchy,  244.  His 
War  Policy,  246.  Despair  at  Italian 
Campaign,  248.  Second  Pamphlet 
Correspondance  Politique,  ,etc.,  250. 
Lettre  a  un  Ministre  d'Etat,  254. 
Controversy  with  Malouet,  257. 
Letter  to  Quotidienne,  267.  Cause  of 
his  expulsion  from  Berne,  268.  He 
seeks  refuge  at  Friburg,  271.  Inter- 
course with  Portalis,  274.  Decides 
to  retire  to  England,  281.  Arrival  in 
London,  283.  Letter  to  Gallatin, 
288  ;  Tourmentdu  Silence,  291.  Starts 
Mercure  Britannique,  293.  Neglect 
of  Ministers,  ibid.  Success  of  new 
Journal,  300.  Letter  from  Monsieur, 
303.  Collision  with  ultra-Royalists, 
306.  Interview  with  Monsieur,  309. 
Comments  on  Bonaparte's  return, 

315 ;  and  on  the  Consulate,  317. 
Health  fails,  320.  Letter  to  Wick- 
ham,  321.  Gives  up  Mercure,  324. 
Death  at  Richmond,  327.  Funeral, 
329.  Civil  List  Pension  for  widow, 
329.  Character  of,  by  Madame  Col  la- 
don,  330.  Appearance  and  habits, 
331.  Vicissitudes  of  his  reputation, 
333.  Carlyle's  opinion,  335.  Opinion 
of  Taine,  338.  Character  of  his  mind, 
338.  His  independence,  339.  His 
political  competence,  Carlyle,  342. 
Taine,  ibid.  Gentz,  343.  Sainte- 
Beuve,  ibid.  His  style,  344.  His 
opinions  on  the  Revolution,  345. 
His  anti-Jacobinism,  347.  Attitude 
in  the  War,  348.  His  foresight,  350. 
Comparison  with  Rivarol  and  De 
Maistre,  351.  His  championship  of 
Constitutional  Monarchy  justified, 

Mallet  du  Pan,  Madame,  13, 121  (note), 

155,  330 ;  Civil  List  Pension  for,  329. 
Malouet,  92,   93,    102,    104,    135,    161, 

216-8,  252  (note),  255,  256  (note),  257, 

269,  292,  306,  307,  325,  329,  355. 
Mansfield,  Lord,  69  (note). 
Marat,  122. 
Maret,  90. 

Maria  Josepha   (Lady   Stanley),  Girl- 
hood of,  214,  215. 
Marie  Antoinette,  81,  91,   133   (note). 

Execution  of,  181  (note). 
Marmontel,  59,  62. 
Maurepas,  80. 

Maury,  Abbe,  afterwards  Cardinal,  103. 
Memoires     Historiques     Politiques    et 

Littcraires,  55. 
Mercure  Britannique  founded,  290,  295. 

Objects  of,  295.    Temper  of,   297-8. 

Articles  in,  299,  301-2,  307,  316-8. 
Mercure  de  France,  57,  59-61,  63,  64, 86, 

89,  90,  102,  105  (note),  106,  122,  123 

(note),  129,  131,  138,  139  (and  note), 

140,  141,  143,  144. 
Mercy  Argenteau,  Comte  de,  150,  163, 

Michel,    M.   Andre,    185     (note),    187 

Military  aspect  of  American  War,  46 

—  Dictatorship  foretold,  139,  202,  253, 


Mirabeau,  72,  85,  88,  97-8,  110-5. 
Moleville,  Bertrand  de,  145,  150. 
Monarchy,  prophecy  as  to  the,  202, 

253,  353- 

Monsieur,  Letters  from,  282,  303.    (See 



Montaigne,  122. 

Montesquieu,  7,  14,  26,  355. 

Montesquieu,  156,  158. 

Montgaillard,  198,  213. 

Montlosier,  Comte  de,   103,  161,    169, 

218,  255,  292. 
Montmorin,  Comte  de,  76,  94,  132,  135, 

136,  145.     Fate  of  his  family,  132-3 

Morris,  Gouverneur,  American  Minister 

in  Paris,  88  (note),  89,  91,  98,  103 

(note),  137,  152,  154,  338,  350. 
Mounier,  92,  94,  102,  197,  210,  211,  216. 
M  tiller,  21  (note),  270. 


Nantes,  Edict  of,  20. 

Narbonne,  Comte  Louis  de,  133,  208. 

Natifs,  10. 

National  character  of  French,  25,  83, 

228,  337. 
Necker,  9,  17,  68,  91,  93,  94,  109,  no, 

225,  339- 

North,  Lord,  29,  44,  48. 
Notables,  Assembly  of,  79,  82. 


Observations  historiques  sur  Paris 
(Mallet  du  Pan's  private  notebook), 

October  5th  and  6th  (1789),  days  of,  94, 
loo,  102,  121  (note). 

Opposition  of  Whig  factions,  45,  47,  50. 


Panat,  Chevalier  de,  161,  255. 

Panckoucke,  15,  16,  57-60. 

Patriotism  of  eighteenth  century  char- 
acterised, 252  (and  note). 

Peace  with  America,  49,  50,  51. 

Pichegru,  General,  213,  258,  260,  260-1 
(note),  262. 

Pillnitz,  Congress  of,  128. 

Pitt,  William,  29,  33,  67,  68,  164,  172, 
175,  256,  284,  285,  294,  302. 

Poix,   Prince   de  (Noailles),    198,  219, 

255,  329- 
Polish  Question,  influence  of  on  War, 

171,  183. 

Political  Economy,  17,  68. 
Pombal,  19,  265  (note). 
Portalis  and  his  son,  273,  274,  275. 
—  Letters  from,  308. 
Portrait   by    Rigaud    described,   320-1 

Pozzo  di  Borgo,  301. 

Pradt,  de,  191,  192,  221,  344. 
Princes,     The     French,     relations    of 
Mallet  with,    146,   147,   161-2,    169, 

194-7.  243,  303-4- 
Prisons  under  the  Terror,  275-7. 
Public  opinion,  intolerance  of,  in  Paris, 

102,  115,  117,  143. 


Quiberon  Expedition,  199,  242. 
Quotidienne,  three  letters  to,  267. 


Radstadt,  278. 

Reeves,  John,  281,  291. 

Reminiscences  by  J.  L.  Mallet,  Preface 
x.,  4,  ii,  12,  19  (note),  23  (note),  24 
(note),  59,  62,  99,  100,  101,  107,  155, 
156-8,  159-60,  203,  204,  205-7,  208, 
209,  211,  212,  217,  218,  255,  258,  260 
(and  note),  268-9,  271-2,  273,  274, 
275,  276,  277,  278-9,  281-2,  283,  287, 
292,  293-5,  299.  300-1,  304,  3°5  (note), 
306-8,  320  (note),  321,  325,  326,  330. 

Retz,  Cardinal  de,  147. 

Revolution,  Characteristics  of  French, 
298-9  (note). 

Rewbell,  224. 

Richelieu,  Due  de,  196. 

Richmond,  death  at,  326-7. 

Rigaud,  J.  F.,  R.A.,  292,  320  (note). 

Rivarol,  337,  338,  345,  351. 

Robespierre,  124,  127,  134 ;  described 
by  Mallet,  179-80. 

Rockingham,  Lord,  40 

Rodney,  19,  30. 

Romilly,  Sir  S.,  19  (note),  88. 

Rosebery,  Lord,  284. 

Rousseau,  6,  8,  9,  26,  27,  86-7,  355,  358 

Royalists,  attitude  of  Mallet  towards, 
146-7, 348.  (See  also  under  "  Princes  " 
and  "  Emigration  ".) 

Royer-Collard,  259,  354. 


Sainte-Aldegonde,  Comte  Fran?ois  de, 
195,  198,  219-20.  Letters  to,  199, 
201,  259,  262,  270,  279,  282  (note), 
285,  309. 

Sainte-Beuve,  312  (note),  336,  343,  344, 

St.  Ouen,  declaration  of,  1814,  196. 

Saladin,  257  (note),  292. 

Sales,  Marquis  de,  160,  186  (note). 

Sartoris,  Laura,  2. 



Sartoris,  Leonard,  2. 

Saussure,  de,  7. 

Sayous,  338. 

Sections,  The  48,  of  Paris,  178,  201. 

Seeley,  Professor,  30,  31. 

Sheffield,  Lord,  214,  329. 

Shelburne,  Lord,  48,  49. 

Sieyes,  190,  238,  311-4. 

Smith,  Adam,  33,  68. 

Sorel,  M.  Albert,  130  (note),  151  (note). 

Souza-Cotinho,  Don  Roderigo  de,  186. 

Spain,  33. 

Stael,  Madame  de,  133  (and  note),  208, 
no  (note),  345. 

States-General,  82,  83,  85. 

Steiguer,  Avoyer  de,  268. 

Suard,  57,  59,  62. 

Sumarau,  Baron  de,  272. 

Switzerland,  Conquest  of  (i798)»  278- 
80.  Destruction  of  Helvetic  Con- 
federacy, Essay,  299-300. 


Taine,  28,  84,  90,  187,  237  (note),  334, 

336,  338,  342-3.  344.  347- 
Talleyrand,  81,  223  (note). 
Tallien,  190. 

Terror,  90.     Reign  of,  178. 
Theatre  in  Geneva,  8. 
Thermidorians,  190-1,  199. 
Thouret,  128. 

Thugut,  Count,  171,  241,  271. 
Thureau-Dangin,  P.,    198   (note),  202, 

Times,  The,  obituary  notice  of  Mallet 

du  Pan,  327  (note). 
Trevor,  Mr.,  British  Minister  at  Turin, 

160,  209,  329. 
Turgot,  17. 
Turin  Correspondence,  186. 


Valenciennes,  Siege  of,  163. 
Valette,  M.  Gaspard,  334. 
Varennes,  Flight  to,  119,  124. 
Vendemiaire,  i3th  day  of,  201. 

Vergennes,  75,  76,  78,  80. 

Verona,  Declaration  of  (1795),  195, 196, 

Versailles  Library,  80, 

Vienna  Correspondence,  185-7  >  Direc- 
tory described  in,  222  sqq. 

Vignet,  Sardinian  Minister  at  Berne, 

Voltaire,  7,  8,  9,  20,  21,  22,  23,  24,  25, 
26,  27,  289,  357  (Appendix). 


War  and  Commerce,  Union  of,  32. 

War  of  Independence,  28  sqq.,  46 

War  with  Austria,  Approach  of,  108, 
128-9.  Attitude  of  Europe,  129.  Of 
Assembly  and  Girondins,  133.  Of 
Royalists,  133.  Of  Robespierre  and 
Danton,  184.  Of  the  King  and  his 
advisers,  134-5.  Opposition  of  Mallet 
du  Pan  to,  138-41. 

War,  The  Revolutionary,  Opening  of, 
155.  Character  of,  163,  175,  177, 184. 
Character  of  under  Directory,  238 
sqq.  Policy  of  Mallet  du  Pan,  182-3, 
243-9,348-50.  Policy  of  Allies,  171-2, 
182-4,  241-2,  245-6.  Emigres,  242-3. 
Italian  Campaign,  249. 

Washington,  George,  319. 

Wealth  of  Great  Britain,  42. 

Westphalia,  Peace  of,  50. 

Wickham,  Mr.,  British  Minister  at 
Berne,  172,  211,  212,  278,  281,  292. 
Letter  of  Mallet  to,  321-5. 

Wilberforce,  66. 

Windham,  William,  257  (note),  281, 
293,  294. 


Yorktown,  Surrender  of,  29. 

Zurich,  271. 


H  (Tlasstfieb    Catalooue 





39    PATERNOSTER   ROW,    LONDON,    E.G. 



PAGE                                                                                                                          PAQB 

BADMINTON  LIBRARY  (THE).    -     12 


BIOGRAPHY,        PERSONAL        ME- 

PHILOSOPHY       17 

MOIRS,   &c.        9 


CHILDREN'S  BOOKS          ...     32 

WORKS      ...                          .     38 

LATIONS, ETC.         -         -         -         -22 

POETRY  AND  THE  DRAMA     -        -     23 



MENT, &C.                      ....      36 

NOMICS     20 


POPULAR  SCIENCE  -                          -     30 

&c.       21 

FICTION,  HUMOUR,  &c.   -                 -     25 

RELIGION,  THE  SCIENCE  OF        -     21 


SILVER  LIBRARY  (THE)        .         -     33 

FINE  ARTS  (THE)  AND  MUSIC    -     36 

SPORT  AND  PASTIME                        -     12 

POLITICAL  MEMOIRS,  &c.    -        -      3 

SERIES               19 


SCIENCE  OF    20 



COLONIES,  &c.         -        -         -         -     ii 

&c.  17 

WORKS  OF  REFERENCE-        -         -     31 






Abbott  (Evelyn)       -     3,  22 

Banks  (M.  M.)  -        -        24 


Dauglish  (M.  G.)      -          9 

—  (J.  H.  M.)          -          3 

Baring-Gould  (Rev. 

Camperdown  (Earl  of)        9 

Davidson  (A.  M.  C.)        22 

(T.  K.)      -        -  17,18 

S.)-        -        -        -21,38 

Chasseloup  -  Laubat 

(W.  L.)     -      17,  20,  ai 

(E.  A.)      -        -        17 

Barnett(S.  A.andH.)       20 

(Marquis  de)-        -        13 

Davies  (J.  F.)  -        -       22 

Acland  (A.  H.  D.)    -          3  !  Bavnes  (T.  S.)  -        -"       38 

Chesney  (Sir  G.)      -          3 

Dent  (C.  T.)     -        -        14 

Acton  (Eliza)   -        -        36 

Beaconsfield  (Earl  of)      25 

Childe-Pemberton(W.S.)  9 

De  Salis  (Mrs.)         -        36 

Adeane(J.  H.)-        -          g 

Beaufort  (Duke  of)  -  13,14 


De  Tocqueville  (A.)  -          4 

Adelborg(O.)   -        -        32 

Becker  (W.  A.)         -        23 

(H.)        ---        13 

Devas  (C.  S.)    -        -  19,  20 

jEschylus          -        -        22 

Beesly  (A.  H.)  -        -          9 

Christie  (R.  C.)         -        38 

Dickinson  (G.  L.)     -          4 

Ainger  (A.  C.)  -       -        14 

Bell  (Mrs.  Hugh)      -        23 

ChurchilK  W.  Spencer)  4,  25 

(W.  H.)    -        -        38 

Albemarle  (Earl  of)  -        13 

Bent  (J.  Theodore)  -        n 

Cicero       -       -       -       22 

Dougall(L.)      -        -        25 

Alcock(C.  W.)          -        15 

Besant  (Sir  Walter)-          3 

Clarke  (Rev.  R.  F.)  -        19 

Dowden  (E.)     -        -        40 

Allen  (Grant)    -        -        30 

Bickerdyke  (J.)          -  14,  15 

Climenson  (E.  J.)     -        10 

Doyle  (Sir  A.  Conan)        25 

Allgood  (G.)     -        -          3 

Bird  (G.)                           23 

Clodd  (Edward)        -  21,  30 

Du  Bois  (W.  E.  B.)-       .  5 

Alverstone  (Lord)    -        15 
Angwin  (M.  C.)        -        36 

Blackburne  (I.  H.)   -        15 
Bland  (Mrs.  Hubert)         24 

Clutterbuck  (W.  J.)  -        12 
Colenso  (R.  T.)         -        36 

Dufferin  (Marquis  of)         14 
Dunbar  (Mary  F.)    -        25 

Anstey  (F.)       -        -  •      25 

Blount  (Sir  E.)         -          9 

Conington  (John)     -        23 

Dyson  (E.)       -         -        26 

Aristophanes    -        -        22 

Boase  (Rev.  C.  W.)  -          6 

Conway  (Sir  W.  M  )        14 

Aristotle   -        -        -        17 

Boedder  (Rev.  B.)     -        19 


Ebrington  (Viscount)       15 

Armstrong  (W.)       -        13 

Brassey  (Lady)         -        n 

&  Howson  (Dean)         33 

Ellis  (I.  H.)      -        -        15 

Arnold  (Sir  Edwin)-  11,23 

(Lord)        -        -        14 

Coolidge  (W.  A.  B.)         n 

(R.  L.)      -        -        17 

(Dr.  T.)     -        -          3 

Bray  (C.)  -        -        •        17 

Corbett  (Julian  S.)  -          4 

Erasmus  ...         g 

Ashbourne  (Lord)     -          3 

Bright  (Rev.  J.  F.)  -          3 

Coutts  (W.)      -        -        22 

Evans  (Sir  John)     -        38 

Ashby  (H.)        -        -        36 

Broadfoot  (Major  W.)      13 

Coventry  (A.)   -        -        14 

Ashley  (W.  J.)  -        -    3,  20 

Brooks  (H.  J.)  -       -        17 

Cox  (Harding)          -        13 

Falkiner  (C.  L.)        -          4 

Avebury  (Lord)        -        21 

Brown  (A.  F.)  -        -        32 

Crake  (Rev.  A.  D.)   -        32 

Farrar  (Dean)  -        -  20,  26 

Ayre  (Rev.  J.)  -        -        31 

(J.  Moray)         -        14 

Craven  (W.  G.)        -        14 

Fitzgibbon  (M.)        -          4 

Bruce  (R.  I.)     -        -         3 

Crawford  (J.  H.)       -        25 

Fitzmaurice  (Lord  E.)       4 

Bacon       -        -        -    9,  17 

BryceO.)-        -        -        14 

(R.)            -        -        u 

Folkard  (H.  C.)        -        15 

Bagehot  (W.)  -      9,  20,  38 

Buck  (H.  A.)     -        -        14 

Creed  (S.)         -        -        25 

Ford  (H.)  -        -        -        16 

Bagwell  (R.)     -        -          3 
Bailey  (H.  C.)  -        -        25 

Buckland  (las.)         -        32 
Buckle  (H.  T.)-        -         3 

Creiehton  (Bishop)  -  4,  6,  9 
Crozier  (J.  B.)  -        -    9,  17 

(W.J.)     -       -        16 
Fountain  (P      -        -        n 

Baillie  (A.  F.)  -        -          3 

Bull(T.)    ...        36 

distance  (Col.  H.)  -        15 

Fowler  (Edith  H.)    -        26 

Bain  (Alexander)      -        17 

Burke  (U.  R.)  -        -          3 

Cults  (Rev.  E.  L.)    -         6 

Francis  (Francis)     -        16 

Baker  (J.  H.)    -       -        38 

Burns  (C.  L.)    -        -        36 

Francis  (M.  E.)         -        26 

—  (SirS.  W.)        -        ii 

Burrows  (Montagu)            6 

Dabney  (J.  P.)  -        -        23 

Freeman  (Edward  A.)         6 

Balfour  (A.  J.)           -  13,21 

Butler  (E.  A.)  -        -        30    Dale  (L.)"  -        -        -          4 

Fremantle  (T.  F.)     -        16 

—  (Lady  Betty)     -          6 

—  (T.  F.)       -        -        14 

Fresnfield  (D.  W.)  -        14 

Ball  (John)       -        -        11 

Cameron  of  Lochiel         15    Dallinger  (F.  W.)     -          5 

Frost  (G.)  -       -       -        38 

INDEX     OF     AUTHORS     AND      EDITORS—  continu^. 

Page                                                                     Page 

Froude  (James  A.)  4,9,11,26    : 
Fuller  (F.  W.)  -        -          5 
Furneaux  (W.)           -        30 

Cant  (I.)    -        -        -        18    1 
<aye  (Sir  J.  W.)       -          6    1 
<eary  (C.  F.)    -        -        23 
<eller  (A.  G.)    -        -        22    1 

slesbit  (E.)                        24    ' 
Mettleship  (R.  L.)    -        17    5 
Vewman  (Cardinal)  -        28    ! 
Nichols  (F.  M.)                   9    i 

sophocles                          23 
ioulsby  (Lucy  H.)    -        40 
Jouthey  (R.)     -        -        4° 
spahr  (C.  B.)   -       -       20 

Gardiner  (Samuel  R.)         5 
Gathorne-Hardy  (Hon. 
A.  E.)         -        -  15,  16 
Geikie  (Rev.  Cunning- 
ham)                               38 
Gibbons  (J.  S.)          -        15 
Gibson  (C.  H.)-        -        17 
Gleig  (Rev.  G.  R.)   -        10 

Kelly  (E.)-       -       -        18    , 
Kent  (C.  B.  R.)                   6    , 
Kerr  (Rev.  J.)   -        -        14    < 
Killick  (Rev.  A.  H.)  -        18 
Kitchin  (Dr.  G.  W.)           6 
Knight  (E.  F.)  -        -  11,14 
K6stlin(J.)        -        -        10 
Kristeller  (P.)  -        -        37 

Dgilvie  (R.)      -        -        23 
31dfield  (Hon.  Mrs.)          9 
Dnslow  (Earl  of)      -        14 
3sbourne  (L.)  -        -        28 

Packard  (A.  S.)         -        21 
Paget(SirJ.)    -        -        10 
Park(W.)          -        -        16 
Barker  (B.)        -        -        40 

spedding  (J.)     -        -    9.  '7 
spender  (A.  E.)        -        12 
Stanley  (Bishop)      -        3' 
stebbing  (W.)  -        -  10.  28 
steel  (A.  G.)      -        -        13 
Stephen  (Leslie)                12 
Stephens  (H.  Morse)          8 
Sternberg       (Count 
Adalbert)   -        -          8 

Goethe      -       -       -       23 
Gore-Booth  (Sir  H.  W.)  14 

Ladd  (G.  T.)     -        -        18 
Lang  (Andrew)  6,  14,  16,  21, 

Payne-Gallwey    (Sir 
R.)      -        -        -  14,  16 

Stevens  (R.  W.)       -        4° 
Stevenson  (R.  L.)  25,28,33 

Graham  (A.)     -        -         5 

23,  27,  32,  39 

Pearson  (C.  H.)        -        10 

Storr  (F.)  -        -        -        17 

(P.  A.)       -       -  15.  J6 
(G.  F.)       -       -       20 
Granby  (Marquess  of)      15 

Lapsley  (G.  T.)         -          5 
Lascelles  (Hon.  G.)    13,  15 
Laurie  (S.  S.)  -        -          6 

Peek  (Hedley)  -        -        14 
Pemberton    (W.    S. 
Childe-)                            9 

Stuart-Wortley(A.J.)       15 
Stubbs  (J.  W.)  -        -          8 
Suffolk  &  Berkshire 

Grant  (Sir  A.)  -        -        17 
Graves  (R.  P.)  -                  9 
Green  (T.  Hill)         -  17,  18 
Greene  (E.  B.)-       -         5 
Greville  (C.  C.  F.)    -         5 

Lawley  (Hon.  F.)     -        14 
Lawrence  (F.  W.)    -        20 
Lear  (H.  L.  Sidney)-        36 
Lecky  (W.  E.  H.)    6,  18,  23 
Lees  (J.  A.)       -        -        12 

Pembroke  (Earl  of)  -        14 
Pennant  (C.  D.)        -        15 
Phillipps-Wolley(C.)  12,28 
Pierce  (A.  H.)  -        -        19 
Pitman  (C.  M.)         -        14 

(Earl  of)     -        -        H 
Sullivan  (Sir  E.)       -        H 
Sullv  (James)    -        -        19 
Sutherland  (A.  and  G.) 
(Alex.)       -        -  19.  4° 

Grose  (T.  H.)  -       -        18 
Gross  (C.)         -        -          5 
Grove  (F.  C.)    -        -        13 

Leighton  (J.  A.)        -        18 
Leslie  (T.  E.  Cliffe)  -        20 
Lieven  (Princess)     -          8 

Pleydell-Bouverie  (E.  O.)  14 
Pole(W.)-        -        -        17 
Pollock  (W.  H.)  -        13,  40 

(G.)   -        -        -        40 
Suttner  (B.  von)       -        29 
Swan  (M.)         -        -        29 

(Lady)       -        -        « 
(Mrs.  Lilly)       -        13 
Gurdon  (Lady  Camilla)   26 
GurnhilKJ.)     -       -        18 
Gwilt(J.)-        -       -        3i 

Haggard  (H.  Rider) 
11,26,  27,  38 
Hake(O.)-        -        -        14 
Halliwell-Phillipps(J.)     10 

Lillie  (A.)  -        -        -        16 
Lmdley(J.)       -        -        31 
Locock  (C.  D.)          -        16 
Lodge  (H.  C.)  -        -          6 
Loftie  (Rev.  W.  J.)  -          6 
Longman  (C.  J.)       -  12,  16 
(F.  W.)      -        -        16 
(G.  H.)      -        -  12,  15 
(Mrs.  C.  J.)       -        37 
Lowell  (A.  L.)  -        -          6 

Poole  (W.  H  .  and  Mrs.)     36 
Poore  (G.  V.)    -        -        4° 
Pope  (W.  H.)   -        -        15 
Powell  (E.)       -        -          7 
Powys  (Mrs.  P.  L.)  -        10  1 
Praeger  (S.  Rosamond)    33  ! 
Prevost(C.)      -        -        13 
Pritchett  (R.  T.)       -        14 
Proctor  (R.  A.)         -  17.  3° 

Swinburne  (A.  J.)     -        19 
Symes  (J.  E.)    -        -        2 

Tait(J.)    - 
Tallentyre  (S.  G.)     -        i 
Tappan  (E.  M.)         -        3 
Tavlor  (Col.  Meadows) 
Te'bbutt  (C.  G.)         -        i 
Terry  (C.  S.)     -        -        i 
Thomas  (J.  W.)        -        i 

Hamilton  (Col.  H.  B.)       5 
Hamlin  (A.  D.  F.)    -        36 

Lubbock  (Sir  John)  -        21 
Lucan        -        -        -        22 

Raine  (Rev.  James)-          6 
Ramal(W.)       -        -        24 

Thomson  (H.  C.)      - 
ThornhilKW.  J.)      -        2 

Harding  (S.  B.)         -          5 

Lucian      -        -        -        22 

Randolph  (C.  F.)      -          7 

Thornton  (T.  H.)     -        i 

Hatmsworth  (A.  C.)    13,  H 

Lutoslawski  (W.)     -        18 

Rankin  (R.)      -        -    8,  25 

Todd  (A.)  - 

Harte  (Bret)      -        -        27 

Lyall  (Edna)     -        -        27 

Ransome  (Cyril)       -     3,  8 

Tout  (T.  F.)      - 

Harting(J.  E.)-        -        15 
Hartwig(G.)     -        -        3° 

Lynch  (G.)        -        -          6 
(H.  F.  B.)-                12 

Raymond  (W.)          -        28 
Reid(S.J-)       -        -          9 

Toynbee  (A.)     -        -        2 
Trevelyan  (Sir  G.  O.) 

Hassall(A.)       -        -          8 
Haweis  (H.  R.)         -    9.  3^ 
Head  (Mrs.)      -        -        37 
Heath  (D.  D.)  -        -        17 

Lyttelton  (Hon.  R.  H.)    13 
(Hon.  A.)  -       -        14 
Lytton  (Earl  of)       -    6,  24 

Rhoades  (J.)     -        -        23 
Rice  (S.  P.)       -        -        12 
Rich  (A.)                            23 
Richardson  (C.)        -  13,  15 

6,  7.  8,  9,  i 
(G.  M.)      -        -      7, 
Trollope  (Anthony)-        2 
Turner  (H.  G.)          -        4 

Heathcote  (J.  M.)    -        14 
(C.  G.)       -        -        14 

Macaulay  (Lord)  6,  7,  10,  24 
Macdonald  (Dr.  G.)  -        24 

Richmond  (Ennis)    -        19 
Rickaby  (Rev.  John)         19 

Tyndall  (J.)       -        -    9- 
Tyrrell  (R.  Y.)  -        -22,2 

(N.)   -        -        -        ii 
Helmholtz  (Hermann 

Macfarren  (Sir  G.  A.)        37 
Mackail  (].  W.)         -  10,  23 

(Rev.  Joseph)    -        19 
Ridley  (Sir  E.)  -        -        22 

Unwin  (R.)       -        -        4 
Upton(F.K.and  Bertha) 

von)    -        -       -        30 
Henderson      (Lieut- 

Mackenzie  (C.  G.)    -        16 
Mackinnon  (J.)          -          7 

(Lady  Alice)      -        28 
RileyO.W.)     -        -        24 

Van  Dyke  (J.  C.)      - 

Col.  G.  F.  R.)  -         9 

Marleod  (H.  D.)       -        20    Roberts  (E.  P.)         -        33 

'  Veritas 

Henry  (W.)       -        -        *4    Macoherson      (Rev. 

Roget  (Peter  M.)      -  20,  31 

Virgil        -        -        -        23 

Henty  (G.  A.)  -        -        32 
Herbert  (Col.  Kenney)     15 

H.  A.)        -        -        15 
Madden  (D.  H.)        -        16 

Rolls  (Hon.  C.  S.)    -        13 
Romanes  (G.  J.)  10,  19,21,24 

Wagner  (R.)     -        -        25 
Wakeman  (H.  O.)     -          8 

Hiley  (R.  W.)  -       -         9 
Hill  (Mabel)     -        -          5 

Magniisson  (E.)        -        28 
Maher  (Rev.  M.)       -        19 

(Mrs.  G.  J.)       -        10 
Ronalds  (A.)     -        -        17 

Walford  (L.  B.)        -        29 
Wallas  (Graham)     -        10 

Hillier  (G.  Lacy)      -        13 

Malleson  (Col.  G.  B.)          6 

Roosevelt  (T.)  -        -          6 

(Mrs.  Graham)  -        32 

Hime  (H.  W.  L.)      -        22 
Hodgson  (Shadworth)i8,  38 

Marchment  (A.  W.)         27 
Marshman  (J.  C.)     -          9 

Ross  (Martin)  -        -        28 
Rossetti  (Maria  Fran- 

Walpole  (Sir  Spencer)  8,  10 
(Horace)    -        -        10 

HoenigtF.)      -       -       38 
Hogan(J.F-)    -        -          9 

Maryon  (M.)    -        -        39 
Mason  (A.  E.  W.)    -        27 

cesca)     -        -        -        40 
Rotheram  (M.  A.)    -        36 

Walrond  (Col.  H.)    -        12 
Walsingham  (Lord)  -         14 

Holmes  (R.  R.)        -        «> 

Maskelyne  (J.  N.)     -        16 

Rowe  (R.  P.  P.)        -        14 

Ward  (Mrs.  W.)       -        29 

Holroyd  (M.  J.)        -         9 

Matthews  (B.)          -        39 

Russell  (Lady)-        -        10 

Warwick  (Countess  of)    40 

Homer      -        -        -        22 
Hope  (Anthony)       -       27 

Maunder  (S.)    -        -        31 
Max  Miiller  (F.) 

Saintsbury  (G.)         -        15 
Salomons  (Sir  D.)    -        13 

Watson  (A.  E.  T.)   -        14 
(G.L.)       -        -        H 

Horace     -        -        -        22 

10,  l8,  20,  21,  22,  27,  39 

Sandars  (T.  C.)         -        if 

Weathers  (J.)   -        -        4° 

Houston  (D.  F.)       -          5 
Howard  (Lady  Mabel)     27 
Howitt(W.)     -        -        ii 
Hudson  (W.  H.)       -       30 
Huish  (M.  B.)  -       -       37 

Mav  (Sir  T.  Erskine)          7 
McFerran  (J.)  -        -        14 
Meade  (L.  T.)  -        -        32 
Mecredy(R.  J.)         -        13 
Melville  (G.J.Whyte)      27 

Sanders  (E.  K.)                   9 
Savage-  Armstrong(G.F.)25 
(Hon.  J.)        -        -        13 
Seebohm  (F.)    -        -    8,  ic 

Webb.(Mr.  and  Mrs 
Sidney)       -                2° 
(Judge  T.)                  4° 
(T.  E.)       -          19.  23 
Weber  (A.)       -                 '9 

Hullah(J.)        -        -        37 
Hume  (David)  -        -        i£ 

Merivale  (Dean)       -          7 
Mernman  'H.  S.)      -        27 

Sefous  (F.  C.)   -        -  12,  17    Weir  (Capt.  R.) 
Senior  (W.)      -        -14.15    Wellington  (Duchess  of)  37 

(M.  A.  S.)         -          3 
Hunt  (Rev.  W.)        -          < 
Hunter  (Sir  W.)      -          < 
Hutchinson  (Horace  G.) 

Mill  (John  Stuart)    -  18,  2C 
Millias  (J.  G.)  -        -  16,  3<: 
Milner  (G.)        -        -        4C 
Mitchell  (E.  B.)        -        i: 

Seth-Smith  (C.  E.)  -        14 
Seton-Karr     - 
Sewell  (Elizabeth  M.)       2! 
Shadwell  (A.)                     4< 

West(B.  B.)    -        -        ^9 
Weyman  (Stanley)  -        29 
!    Whately(Archbishop)  17.  9 
>    Whitelaw  (R.)  -                23 

13,  16,  27,  3! 

1    Monck(W.  H.  S.)    -        ic 

Shakespeare     -        -        2 

,    WhittalKSir  j.  W.)-        40 

Ingelow  (Jean)          •        2. 
Ingram  (T.  D.) 

j    Montague  (F.  C.)     -          ' 
5    Moon  (G.  W.)  -        -        24 
Moore  (T.)        -        -        3 

'    ShandlA   I.)    -        -        i 
Shaw  (W.  A.)  - 
Shearman  (M.)          -  12,  i 

,    Wilkins(G.)     -        -        23 
1    (W.  H.)     -        -          3 
5    Willard  (A.  R.)         -        37 

Jackson  (A.  W.)        -        i 

'    (Rev.  Edward)  -        r 

7    Sheehan  (P.  A.)        -        2 

j    Willich(C.  M.)         -        3' 

ames(W.)       -       -        i 
ameson  (Mrs.  Anna)        3 
efferies  (Richard)    -        3 

j    Morgan  (C.  Lloyd)  -        2 
I    Morris  (Mowbray)    -        i 
(W.)    -        -    22,  23,  24 

Sheppard  (E.)  - 
5     Sinclair  (A.)      -        -        i 
'     Skrine  (F.  H.)  - 

3    Witham  (T.  M.)        -        '4 
i    Wood  (Rev.  J.  G.)   -       31 
1    Wood-Martin  (W.  G.)     22 

ekyll  (Gertrude)      -        3 
Jerome  (  |  erome  K.)  -        2 

27,  28,  37,  4 
7    Mulhall  (M.  G.)        -        2 

5    Smith  (C.  Fell)         -        i 
3    (R.  Bosworth)  - 

a    Wyatt  (A.  J.)    -        -        24 
8    WyliefJ.H.)    -        -          » 

ohnson  (J.  &  J.  H.)         3 
ones  (H.  Bence)      -        3 
oyce(P.  W.)   -      6,27.3 

9    Murray  (Hilda)         -        3 

9    Nansen  (F.)       -        -        i 
8    Nash  (V.)  - 

3    (T.  C.) 
2    Smith(W.P.Haskett)      i 
7    Somerville  (E.)        -       2 

5    Yeats  (S.  Levett)      -        29 
8    Zeller(E.)         -        -        '9 


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Sport  and    Pastime — continued. 

THE    BADMINTON    LIBRARY— continued. 

and  A.  E.  T.  WATSON. 

BILLIARDS.  By  Major  W.  BROAD- 
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DRIVING.  By  His  Grace  the  (Eighth) 
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Sport  and  Pastime — continued. 

THE   BADMINTON    LIBRARY— continued. 

and  A.  E.  T.  WATSON. 

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Sport  and  Pastime — continued. 

Edited  by  A.  E.  T.  WATSON. 

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Sport  and  Pastime — continued. 


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26        MESSRS.  LONGMANS  &a